Connor Telford | Staff Writer
A house is where a heart is.
Students’ hearts lie in their houses at the beginning of every day as part of the MMS House System.
According to seventh grade math teacher and house committee member Karen Binzel, the House System was designed to build bonds between students and other students, as well as teachers.
“The goal was to have the students feel a sense of belonging, also to get a better rapport between the students and the teachers, to get a better relationship between them,” Binzel said. “And also (for) the students to have a sense of relationship and community among each other within the school.”
The house system was newly implemented this year, replacing the previous teams. It is a system where each house has eight to 10 teachers, and each teacher has a family of about 20 to 30 students, a mix of seventh and eighth graders.
“I think the house system is beneficial for the students to feel a sense of belonging within the big school,” Binzel said. “They have a lot of teachers that they can turn to, they get to know more students, so I think it’s working out very well.”
With the house system now being used, the old teams have gone out the window. According to seventh grade science teacher Andrew Renner, the house system is superior to the teams.
“I know a few years ago that we had teams within the building, so within your team you had four teachers that you saw, that worked together,” Renner said. “Essentially you just had like a better kind of family unit (within the teams). So, I feel like what this family time is doing is to try to bring that family unit to an environment that no longer has teams anymore. We’re now obviously on more of a junior high schedule, so that’s what it is attempting to do.”
The teams involved students traveling between four different classrooms, but now, with seven bells instead of just four teachers, the teams no longer work in the schedule.
“You know, I really enjoyed the team aspect of it,” Binzel said. “But with that not really being an option with the way the school calendar is, I think it’s a very good alternative.”
However, some students still prefer the old system. According to eighth grader Logan Young, the house system takes up a lot of time that could be used for more class time.
“We lose a lot of time in class for things like tests and quizzes that we’ve (got to) do, and that valuable time can save you from a (bad) grade,” Young said. “For me, usually I don’t have enough time to finish a test or check it over, which I really don’t like. Last year, I had a lot more time for stuff, which I found way more helpful.”
Outside of the house system, seventh and eighth graders rarely get to mix, excluding hallways and some classes. According to eighth grade spanish teacher Lauren Richardson, it’s good for the seventh graders to learn from the eighth graders.
“I have seen seventh graders really take leadership within the eighth graders in homerooms,” Richardson said. “I’ve also seen the eighth graders serve as great mentors to the seventh graders. So, it’s been very exciting.”
The goal of the house system was to connect grade levels and make students feel more comfortable with teachers and other students, and so far, it appears to be successful at its job.
“I think the goal was to bring a sense of community to the building, a way to connect students in a way that teams once did,” Richardson said. “I think it is doing a great thing. Not only is it connecting grade levels, but it is just connecting the building as a whole with the houses.”