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The future is just around the corner

NATCHEZ — The fourth graders at McLaurin Elementary School got a peek into their future Monday night.

But they weren’t gazing into crystal balls. They were peering into their future classroom windows at Morgantown Elementary.

An annual event, the fourth graders visited the Morgantown Elementary school campus as part of an orientation for future fifth graders. It gives them an opportunity to see their new school and it helps reduce anxiety that comes with going to a new school.

“It was awesome,” McLaurin fourth grader Justin Bailey said of his future school. “I got to meet my new teacher.”

Meeting new teachers may have been exciting for the students, but most of the fourth graders didn’t expect there to be so many.

“How many of you have two teachers this year?” Principal Fred Marsalis asked the students.

Every hand in the room went up in response.

“Next year, you will have seven teachers,” Marsalis said.

Audible gasps filled the auditorium. It was the first sign that things were going to be different in fifth grade.

But an abundance of teachers wasn’t the only worry for many of the fourth graders.

Tikesia Griffin said she was a little nervous about learning where all her new classes were going to be.

“I am worried that I will end up in the wrong class,” Griffin said.

Tennijah Smith said she was worried about being with the big kids — the sixth graders.

Bailey said he was more worried about the teachers.

“They have that look on their face,” Bailey said. “They look mean.”

Even so, many of the students said they were excited about the prospects of have more teachers, greater independence and added responsibilities.

“We won’t have teachers telling us to keep our hands in our pockets and to stay in a straight line,” Tennijah Smith said. “It’s like we will be growing up.”

“It’s like we will be getting bigger,” Bailey said.

“We’re moving up,” Griffin said.