Amelia Kimball, 8th Grade
What is likely the most vibrant characteristic of Imagine that is hard to find anywhere else, is our K-12 environment. It’s no secret that we don’t have a lot of space to work with, so it takes all the more creativity to fit kids from ages 5 to 18 in comfortably. But one of the ways that the school administration works hard to help us make connections amongst grade levels and those are Family Days.
A few times a year, our family groups get together to do activities that relate to a larger theme. These activities creates an opportunity for students to bond in a way that is truly unique to our school. The dynamic that is created within these groups evolves as the students grow and is important to the kids who are a part of each group. However, MYP and DP have mixed opinions on family day. Many students think the activities aren’t mature enough, while other kids just love the idea of getting to hang out with younger students on campus. I scouted out some opinions in this arena, to help dissect family day: is it to love, or not to love?
Ok, let’s not beat around the bush here, there are a ton of kids in MYP and DP who, well, hate family day. But bear with me. They have their reasons. In the family day setting, if you’re an older student, it really is your responsibility to help the younger kids get to and from their classrooms, and make their crafts, and find the bathroom, and spell a word, and focus on a video, and on and on and on. A lot of students in older grades feel like they’re babysitting but not getting paid. And, many feel like they hardly even know the kids in their group; they only are with them a few times a year, after all. Alexandra French, an 8th grader, thinks that more could be done to help the groups get to know each other, “I feel like the multiple grades in our group haven’t bonded,” she says, “the day would be more fun if we had more activities that promoted stronger relationships. That would help me look forward to being with my group more”.
But it seems like these opinions may vary from group to group. There are a ton of kids in MYP and DP who actually look forward to family day for other reasons that just missing classes. From what I found it’s typically because of the bond that they have with the members of their group; like Kaivalya Meduri, of the 8th grade, says, “I have good relationships with the people in my group, especially those my age. I have a lot friends. We make the activities really exciting, and we have a great time.”. Different students feel differently about hanging out with and helping younger kids, however a good solution is make friends with the people in your own age group. Many kids feel like you can put twists on the activities to make them more fun if you’re older, or you can just be a bit silly and just enjoy them as though you were 5 or 6. If you saw the MYP and DP kids rocking those dragon hats during the school’s birthday party, then you know what I mean. In the end, though, it comes down to whether or not you can enjoy being with the people in your group.
It seems to me that the way a student looks at family day depends mainly on who’s in the group and how they get along with them. But it’s this attitude that you approach Family Day that can make all the difference. So the next time you meet up with those couple-dozen kids that are your school family, have a good attitude about it! Think about going at the day like you’re a younger kiddo too, and those dragon hats might seem all the more fun, and maybe Family Day might just be to love after all.