Life In The Small Crowd

November 26, 2007
By Elizabeth Mputu, Orlando, FL

Ah, the joyous magnet school.With its small classes, small classrooms, small cafeterias and small social circles...what's not to love? Now, I'm not necessarily opposing the idea of these somewhat convenient educating facilities, but it's not all peaches and creme either.
I have the privilege of attending one of the more unique magnet schools, from kindergarten to 8th grade to be exact. I have even more of a privilege to be one of the rare students who have been educated there from K-8.
While the Elementary division of the school is flourishing with hyper-active kindergartens and determined 5th graders. The middle school division has approximately 300 kids total, which is about the size of one grade at a regular public middle school where there student population can range anywhere from 300-1000 students.
Although the closeness and size of the middle school can be quite comforting(I mean who wouldn't indulge in a school where there's never a fear of being outcasted, because everyones acquainted with everyone or have a good enough relationship with the teachers where you can get extra help without feeling dominated by the educator.)There is a downfall, not academically, but socially and we all know that our social life at this adolescent state, has quite an impact on our general life.
Rumors. Lets start with that. For example, lets say "Mary" was partnered with "Sally's" boyfriend "Tom" for a project in US History. Now "Jude" ,the gossip queen, dislikes "Mary with a passion and craves gossip like celeb's crave Botox. So "Jude" decides to tell everyone that "Mary" bribed "Mr.brown" into letting her and "Tom" work together because she is "infatuated" with him. Everybody judges "Mary" differently. Most choose to stick with "Jude's" version of what happened, because at a small school, not that much drama occurs,s o any slither of gossip is consumed and devoured.
Another issue about a small magnet K-8 school, is the horrific transition from 8th grader to freshman. Especially if you(like I) have been at that school your whole learning career. For a clearer understanding I'll compare myself to my friend "Manuel". "Manuel", attended the K-8 school in elementary, but made the transition when he decided to go to a regular middle school environment. I and my parents had thought it'd be best if I just stuck it out for 3 more years. "Manuel" is going to the same high school as me. Unfortunately, because of our zoning only a handful of students from my school are attending my future high school. "Manuel" on the other hand has a plethora of students. So when we both go to high school, socially he has the upper hand on making friends. Most of the time friends are huge aspects in our life.
Another disadvantage of a smaller middle school is the fact that we're completely unprepared for the realities of high school. Peer pressure though it does exist is more on the guidelines of oh don't like him he's stupid. Whereas in a regular high school they deal with the pressure of drugs,alcohol and premarital sex. When the kids from the smaller middle school attend high school they will be dumbstruck when these type of pressure and consequently unsure of how to respond to such negative influences. With this it could even make it easier to fall into the pressures.
As much as I seem bashful, I truly do adore my school. Regardless of its flaws, because every school has them (some more than others). but. if we can all help each other out and share advice from each perspective, then maybe...just maybe us future high schoolers have a chance.

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This article has 1 comment.

on Jul. 15 2009 at 5:22 pm
kiwi12 PLATINUM, Austin, Texas
28 articles 10 photos 365 comments
Wonderful. I can totally relate to this.


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