Take a walk down the Virtual Middle School Hallway and you’ll get a rare peek into the lockers of our 6th graders. Why on earth would someone want to browse inside an 11-year-old’s locker?? While such an idea may sound dangerous, invasive, or downright terrifying for some, rest assured that these virtual lockers won’t have your skin crawling with memories of your own Middle School days. This year, 6th graders (and their advisors!) designed open digital lockers to express themselves and have now used the opportunity to socialize and build connections, especially with students they don’t know well.
Students included pictures of themselves and their family as well as photos of people they admire—is this redundant? They also shared favorite books, movies, anime, sports teams, foods, pets, social justice causes, and inspirational quotes. Black Lives Matter signs are dotted throughout the virtual hallway as are pride flags and other symbols of personal identity or heritage. Interestingly, there also seemed to be a lot of sushi.
Once the lockers were posted, students “wandered” the hallway and left comments to each other beneath their digital locker. One commenter posted, “Wow, your locker really shows your affection for hockey!” Another posted, “You are an epic gamer. I’m also a bit of a gamer myself.” Many students commented on their classmates’ adorable pets or their good taste in favorite foods and books. The 6th grade advisors also commented, affirming students’ choices and identities as well as engaging to know more about them. Several students commented on their advisors’ lockers, too. Arielle commented on science teacher Stephen Harris’s post: “I was Hedy Lamarr for [5th grade] traveling biographies!”
While we would not normally recommend poking your nose into the lockers of a bunch of Middle School students, we do encourage you to walk the Virtual Middle School Hallway.