The Upper B Wing Dilemma


Upper B Wing During 4th Hour

Claudia Fisher, Reporter

Beep. Beep. Beep. The ten minute bell rings. Remy the Rat creator Anna is drawing Remy like usual. The 6th graders of Mr. Meyers’ room gather to watch. Mrs. Kulczycki monitors the hallway. The 7th Graders aren’t technically allowed in this part of Upper B Wing. What happens when Anna goes downstairs to class, but Mrs Kulczycki is out there?

Have you ever noticed how the 7th graders aren’t allowed in the 6th grade hallway except to go to their classes? Even if a student is visiting a former teacher, or doing something for a teacher, or even gets permission from a teacher to be in their classroom. With all of these exceptions, 7th graders still aren’t allowed in the Upper B Wing. The question is Why?

To get a good understanding of the 6th graders thoughts, I asked Gunner, a student in Mr. Meyers 1st hour, if he thinks the 7th graders coming up in the morning are distracting to the 6th Graders. He responded, “I think that the 7th graders aren’t distracting to the 6th graders at all.”. I also asked him how he would feel if the 7th graders had to stop coming up in the morning. He answered, “It would be a very boring morning.”

In order to fully understand why, exactly, the 7th graders aren’t allowed upstairs in the morning, I spoke with assistant principal, Mrs. Kulczycki. I asked her why the 7th and 8th grade students aren’t allowed upstairs in the morning. She stated, “We try to keep the 6th and 7th graders separate so the 6th graders can have their own space in the morning without having to navigate around the 7th graders”. She continues to say that the 6th grader hallways are easier to monitor without the different grades mixing. She also mentioned that keeping the 6th  graders with the 6th graders allows the small environment that they were used to in elementary school. I also asked her if it was ok if the 7th graders were allowed to visit their old teachers in the morning. She responded, “No, it’s the 6th graders time”. She also says that maybe at another time like after school, visiting teachers might be ok, or if there is a “scheduled” time that both the teacher and student know about, then that might be ok. She proceeds to say, “We just don’t want all of the 7th grade students upstairs in the morning.”

I spoke with 6th/7th Grade Math Teacher Mrs. Holten about how they feel about old students coming to visit in the morning. She responded, “I love when former students come to visit in the morning. It starts my day out in a good way, I love seeing familiar faces.” I also asked how she would feel if former students were unable to visit in the morning for whatever reason. She stated, “If students couldn’t come to visit me in the morning, I would feel kind of sad. Because seeing former students brightens my day.” She continues, “I understand why we can’t have grade levels mixing. There’s a lot going on upstairs in the 6th grade hallway, and adding more people to the mix could end up a little more less than desirable.”

I also talked with 6th Grade Social Studies and 21st Century Skills Teacher, Mr. Meyer to get another teacher’s perspective. When I asked how he felt about old students coming to visit in the morning, he simply replied, “Yes”. When I asked how he would feel if former students were unable to visit in the morning for whatever reason, he responded, “I think that if there was a good reason, like Mr. Smiley or Mrs. Kulczycki made it a rule and students had to stop, I would obviously support that.” He then continues to suggest that if there was a better time for former students to visit, like after school, that could be a better plan, or just make a way so that students could visit if the morning doesn’t work. Mr. Meyer acknowledges that after school might be tricky for some students because of buses or other events. 

I had a chat with 7th Grader Remy the Rat creator, Anna, to get an interactive perspective of the situation. I asked how she would feel if she were a 6th grader in this situation. She answered with, “It might be unfair.” This answer might not be what you’re thinking. Anna continues to say, “If I liked the 7th graders upstairs as a 6th grader, I would feel sad at the loss of their company”. I also asked Anna how she would feel if she had to stop coming up in the mornings. She answered, “I would feel sad if I couldn’t come upstairs in the morning, because I draw Remy the Rat, and I couldn’t draw him anymore if I had to stop coming up.”

It appears that the 7th Graders aren’t bothering the 6th graders as much as the staff might have thought, and are only trying to stay connected with old teachers. The 6th graders have no problem with the different grades joining them in the morning, and actually, quite enjoy it when they do for various reasons. 

If you are a 7th grader, I’m not saying that you should just wander Upper B Wing whenever you feel like it, or just because you’re bored; but if you are visiting an old teacher in the morning or visiting your 6th grader friend in the morning it might be acceptable. If you’re just upstairs for no reason, just standing around, and being reckless with your friends; I could see how that might be distracting, but like I said before, visiting a teacher would be a better option, maybe even try to visit after school if you are able. Just remember to be respectful.