The VIIIs Settle Down
The VIIIs put on their first play, begin to play in the Ball Yard, and dive into Social Studies.
As Jay Frankle, VIIIsJ Group Teacher, said, “Students become more social in the VIIIs.”
Adjusting from a being a VII to an VIII is one of the hardest transitions at C&C. Not only is there a greater amount of homework, but there is also the introduction of Lunch in the 13th st lunchroom. This both fosters and devastates friendships among the VIIIs. Before Spring Break, both VIIIs groups lost their privilege to choose a table to sit at. They are assigned to one of four tables. Although, now that they have returned back to school, they have been working hard to prove they are capable of choosing where they sit.
“The VIIIs are working hard [to change the lunch rule prohibiting them to choose where they sit at lunch],” said Nancy Segal, VIIIsN Group Teacher.
“We did that because there seemed to be tendencies to be exclusive and sit next to the same people. Nothing we did would loosen them up. Hopefully having had assigned tables, they will choose their own seats by the end of next week,” she added.
Friends are a key reason why many of the VIIIs wanted to go back to school after break.
Jay said, “Coming back, students get a reset on social groups.”
Some students find it hard to make friends, while others find it easy, and some are in between. However, this year there seems to be no social problems, especially when working on their play.
Usually, the controversial part of having two separate plays for each VIIIs group is that the two groups tend to make comparisons beween each other’s plays.
This year, things were different. Nancy and Jay were happy to say that because these groups did a joint play, there was no arguing over whose was better.
Jay said, “They are very supportive of each other when it comes to the play.” Nancy agreed.
Times such as Yard or Physical Education provoke competitive behaviors that can make it hard for students to get along. Yard games are voted on democratically with a Yard leader who facilitates the votes and calls on people for game suggestions. Of course, if a group is always playing the same game every day, a teacher will make them play other ones.
Because of the fear of playing the same game over and over again, the VIIIsN have created a thoughtful system that lets everybody suggest a game of their liking. They usually hold up their list of possible Yard games and take suggestions. But before they go out to play, they narrow down the options to two suggestions. Those games get voted on in Yard. It may seem like these Yard games on the list get boring after a short while, but Nancy works hard to find new games and implement them into the system.
For instance, Nancy recently taught the VIIIsN a new game called Hawks and Doves.
“It’s a tag game that is more collaborative. All the doves try to avoid the three hawks so the whole group is working together to defeat them,” said Nancy
They also spent time reconfiguring their Yard leader list and wrote down what makes a good leader. The VIIIs have minor arguments, but overall, Yard problems stay in the Yard.
Friendship is hard, especially at a young age when communication is strained.
“[Students] label people as friends and best friends. I feel that it is just something that comes with age and as you get older you become more interested in society and not just your family,” said Jay.
“Friendship is tricky. Friends are friends one day then not the next. The VIIIs are very stable as far as drama goes but, very few times is there something big. They might fight over friends, push somebody out of the way or give somebody not a nice look,” Jay added. However, Jay said that overall, the VIIIs are relaxed in the social realm.