What's Up With Seventh Grade
Middle school is by far the worst three years of a student's life, as they are stuck in between elementary and high school. Tweens are faced with cringey and embarrassing moments as well as, isolation, regrets, anxiety, stress, plus the worst of all, bullying. It may sound a bit hunger-games, but that’s how it feels in the mind of some middle schoolers.
In my opinion, 7th grade is the worst for behavior because kids know exactly what they can and can’t get away with. During 6th grade, students are getting used to the experience of middle school. It’s all very new and scary, but they soon learn what’s acceptable and what’s not. Plus, Students get to know some of the teachers which proves helpful when they are up to no good. Speaking from a middle schooler's perspective, I’ve seen the escalation of behavior around me at PASB, right before my eyes. But let me assure you that it’s not the whole seventh grade who have created this stereotype.
Part of this issue is their age, kids are becoming teenagers, which could bring out a more rebellious side to some characters. Suddenly your parents seem against you, it may feel as if your teachers are picking on you and the only people who understand you are your best friends who could turn against you at any time. (Now this is definitely sounding like a hunger game’s trailer).
I asked some fellow 7th graders some questions to find out about their opinions on the ‘curse of 7th grade’.
1 - Do you feel 7th grade is the worst behaved grade?
Anonymous 1 - No
Anonymous 2 - Yes
Anonymous 3 - Yes, at least 7th grade in PASB
Anonymous 4 - Yes, from what I am aware and what teachers/adults/students say.
2 - What made you answer the way you did?
Anonymous 1 - I still haven’t seen what all the grades are like and I didn’t find this year much different from the other ones.
Anonymous 2 - Classmates and teachers
Anonymous 3 - People don’t know what respect, responsibility, selflessness, leadership, integrity, collaboration and kindness are.
Anonymous 4 - The behaviour of a frightening amount of students is appalling, not many people appreciate what people do for them and they lack a lot of respect.
3 - What do you think causes this, what are the issues we are experiencing?
Anonymous 1 - They want to do everything and look cool and funny but end up making wrong choices.
Anonymous 2 - Irresponsibility and immaturity
Anonymous 3 - They think everything is a joke. That every consequence is stupid. They think if they do something wrong, it won’t affect them badly. They don’t respect their teachers neither their friends/classmates.
Anonymous 4 - I think the age, lack of any great consequence for misbehaving and influence (peer pressure are major contributors to the reason 7th graders are so rude and disrespectful
4 - Do you think we should have gone on a trip this year?
Anonymous 1 - I would have loved to go on a trip but last year we had quite a lot of problems, I didn’t go on the trip last year so I can’t judge the other people, but again I would have loved to go on a trip.
Anonymous 2 - Probably not
Anonymous 3 - We should have had one. But unfortunately, because the majority of people don't think about the consequences, we didn't get the chance to.
Anonymous 4 - I think it was a shame that the students who do behave well had to suffer the punishments of others, but if I was a teacher, I would not want to bring this group of seventh graders on a trip.
Based on the opinions of some of my 7th grade peers, it seems there really is a curse for 7th grade. But the real question is, how do we stop our current 6th graders from continuing the legacy? How do we lift the curse?...
"Having an auditorium at PASB is an essential development for the schools' competitive edge in the world of international schools." This is Patricia Murray's opinion, the drama teacher here at the Pan American School of Bahia. Yes, building an auditorium would be costly, but isn't it worth the cost? Our school would be able to host special events such as DI and lectures from guest speakers. Students who have a passion for art, such as drama and music, would be able to perform in an appropriate space, and, as a consequence, increase their abilities in this area. In addition to that, the student body believes that gym is ill equipped to host special events, as it is uncomfortable and hot during most of the days. Building an auditorium will mean expanding the barriers of our school to a world of drama, music and art.
One might ask how will students that are not interested in art benefit from an auditorium? An auditorium is not only restricted to the arts, it can also be a place for students to present projects, have debates and listen to speeches of inspirational people. An on campus stage will be able to hold several different non-theatrical events at any time. Our sense of community will be developed to its maximum level as well, because a larger number of students, teachers and parents would be able to attend to the ceremonies. Students that do not want to be performers, but are interested in drama will be able to learn the technical aspects of theatre, such as lighting design, stage management and sound design. The students' self-esteem will be boosted by their presentations to larger audiences, which will also be well accommodated in a proper auditorium And let's not forget that teachers and pupils will be equally benefited by a comfortable learning environment.
On a recent survey with 19 seventh-graders, all of them presented different reasons of why the school should build and auditorium, one of them being the lack of comfort of the gym. As we all know, the weekly assemblies are held at the gym, and while some students are worried about being comfortable, others worry about getting diseases. Out of the 19 seventh-graders, 57.9% of them said that it was terrible to have assemblies on the gym while 0% said that it was good, only 21.1% said that it was okay. This means that the school really needs to improve on its infrastructure, especially on the way assemblies are held. According to seventh-grade student, Eliane Carvalho, "Students would be more engaged. The auditorium would not be as hot as the gym, and the sound would be clearer and better." Many students also affirm that the auditorium would enhance drama classes and make the assemblies much more comfortable. Also, it is the general opinion that events held at our school would be extremely more organized and held at a worthy place for speeches and performances. It would also encourage people to participate in the drama classes and the performing arts, which would help students' creativity and self-esteem.
A selling feature for most drama teachers all around the world are that schools have at least one auditorium, some even have two, a black box and a full auditorium. Our current drama teacher, Ms. Patricia Murray, said that she came to PASB because she is a singer and "Salvador is the epicenter of music", but not every drama teacher is a singer. Building at least one auditorium would mean that a lot of top-notch drama teachers from all over the world would be willing to come teach at our school, and they would most certainly open a lot of new doors for students. Having professional drama teachers at our school would mean that kids who are interested in drama would be very knowledgeable and the performances at our school would be amazing. Our school has also just introduced IB theater and with the auditorium students would be able to have "hands-on access to stage experience, at all times, most notably design: lighting and sound", Ms. Pat stated. Right now, students that are willing to get an IB diploma in this area have no experience in design and that is more than one-third of the knowledge needed to get it. Professional teachers on drama, such as Ms. Pat, would be able to teach us amazing things with the auditorium!
Now all readers are probably convinced that our school is in desperate need of an auditorium, and quick. It would benefit the school, the teachers, the students, and even the parents. They would certainly feel much more comfortable watching their child perform or get an award on a theatre, and that child would probably feel much more special getting this award on an actual stage. We would be able to host special events, such as DI, and people that enjoy drama and music would definitely be extremely pleased. High-schoolers that are doing IB theatre would be much more prepared and they would get that diploma for sure, and that would most certainly look good for the school. Our Superintendent already has plans for expanding the school, so why can't we use some of that space to build an auditorium? It would definitely cost a lot of money, but for all the people that would benefit from it, isn't it worthy? The goal of the school was always to make students excel in every way they can, express themselves, so now is the time to build an auditorium. Thus, we should build an auditorium.
Lucca Aguiar and India Jamison
Ms.O’Sullivan is the new 6th and 7th grade English teacher
Scoopinho: Why did you come to PASB? Why did you choose Brazil?
Ms. O’Sullivan: I didn’t choose PASB, PASB chose me. Whilst in Canada, Mr. Bedard and I were at a teaching fair for interviews in schools abroad. Mr. Bedard got a job here at PASB and two years later, Dr. Johnston called me and asked if I would like an interview.
Scoopinho: What do you like most about Brazil?
Ms. O’Sullivan: I love all the friendly people! I also really enjoy the cultural side of Salvador, especially the music. I feel like this city is a great place to relax.
Scoopinho: What did you major in in college and why did you choose this major?
Ms. O’Sullivan: I chose to study history and music performance. I have been playing both the piano and the saxophone for a while, so I felt like music performance was an ideal major.
Scoopinho: Where did you go to college?
Ms. O’Sullivan: I went to college at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, which is ranked one of the best universities in the world and students here at PASB should consider going!
Scoopinho: From your experience living abroad in Brazil, would you choose to travel to another location if the opportunity was given to you?
Ms. O’Sullivan: I don’t know, it’s hard being away from home although I would love a job in France because I speak the language.
Scoopinho: What are the main differences from PASB to your old school in Canada?
Ms. O’Sullivan: Here in Brazil, my classes are way smaller than the ones I taught in Canada. PASB's students are 95% Brazilian, which is a big change from the students in Canada, since they represent many different nationalities.
Scoopinho: How long have you been teaching and how many schools have you worked in so far?
Ms. O’Sullivan: I have been teaching high school for eight years. I also taught English as a second language to adults but I taught piano since I was 13. PASB is my 5th school that I have worked in.
Scoopinho: Are there any other things you would like our readers to know about you?
Ms. O’Sullivan: I really enjoy being outdoors. I especially like biking and hiking, they both help me relax and feel calm.
Who are we?
We are Scoopinho; a team of middle schoolers devoted to bringing you the inside (middle school) scoop!