Teaming Up for Seventh Grade


Rehme Leanza

Seventh grade students sit in a classroom, all approaching their work in different ways. The “teaming” system helps students interact with those who may have different learning styles or personalities than them.

By Sofia Tollefson and Bobby Keegan

In 2015, WHHS introduced the method of “teaming” for seventh grade students. Initially, only about 90 seventh graders participated.

“When we first started it was English, Latin, science, social studies and math. We’ve been teaming for four years, but until now it’s been kind of hit or miss,” seventh grade English teacher Mallory Kessen said.

The first year teaming was introduced, there were only two sets and it included all the core subjects. The next year, the teaming program dropped math, and the year after social studies was dropped. Last year, the program adopted three teams, and this year there are six teaming sets.

This is the first year that all seventh graders are partaking in teaming. All seventh graders are assigned to three teachers for English, Latin and history. Each teaming teacher has around 90 kids, even though those kids might not be in the same bells.

While teaming sounds very similar to the Honors system, the Honors system has the same kids in the same bells for the same three subjects. However, in teaming, a large group of students has the same teachers in the same subjects but not necessarily the same bells. Someone might have English second bell, Latin third bell and history fourth bell, while another person might have the same exact teachers but in different bells.

Rehme Leanza
Macen Hall, ‘24, sits on the hallway floor, working on a project. As all seventh graders are now in a team, they can look for creative ways to do work together.

Kessen explained, “As a teacher, I absolutely love it. It lets me have a chance to collaborate with people from other departments. In addition it kind of opened my eyes to what else is going on in the building. [It especially helps] if we see any students who are struggling, so we can keep an eye out for that.”

One of the major purposes of teaming is to have seventh graders recognize familiar faces throughout the day and to become more comfortable with the WHHS environment.

“The teachers working together makes it a lot easier for me to understand every class because they are working together to create a better learning environment,” Leiland Barnes, ‘24, said.

Many of the teaming teachers share similar policies and test/project schedules. It also opens up the opportunity for field trips and hopefully causes less stress to seventh graders.

“I think overall it’s a pretty positive reaction that I’ve seen in my classes. I think it’s kind of helpful, instead of having three wildly different teachers you have three who are on the same page,” Kessen said. “I’m really enjoying, I think what would be fantastic is if we could reach the point where each team has its own identity. It would be really exciting if we could get it to be part of the school culture. That you come in with this team.”

This story was originally published on The Chatterbox on September 12, 2018.