Welcome, Brave Middle School teachers! Introduce yourself... | Edutopia
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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Welcome, Brave Middle School teachers! Introduce yourself...

Welcome, Brave Middle School teachers! Introduce yourself...

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Hey, all you brave tween teachers out there! Welcome to the Edutopia discussion forum. Please introduce yourself a little before exploring our other discussions. I am your moderator, Heather Wolpert-Gawron, middle school teacher by day and author/blogger at night. I was a California Regional Teacher of the Year in 2004, a Writing Project Fellow at the University of California at Irvine, and am a member of the Teacher Leaders Network. I'm a frequent contributor to Teacher Magazine and a staff blogger here at Edutopia. I also blog at www.tweenteacher.com. I currently teach 7th and 8th Grade Language Arts as well as 7th/8th Speech & Debate/Podcasting. Multiple-intelligences, differentiated instruction, Writer’s Workshop, student collaboration, student choice, and fluid grouping define much of my classroom instruction. I look forward to talking about all of these topics and more here in the middle school forum. So please comment a little about who you are, what you're about as a teacher, and what brought you to Edutopia and our middle school forum. For me, it's all about learning from each of you. So challenge yourself to participate in the forum: comment, advise, criticize. Allow the Middle School forum here at Edutopia to be your brain spa of sorts. I look forward to meeting you all. -Heather Wolpert-Gawron

This post was created by a member of Edutopia's community. If you have your own #eduawesome tips, strategies, and ideas for improving education, share them with us.

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Comments (155)Sign in or register to postSubscribe to comments via RSS

nelson Guizzo's picture

Hello all. I am a 7th grade writing teacher that dabbles on the reading side as well. I have been teaching for 5 years now and struggle everyday to become better. I believe in differentiation, different forms of expression, creating thinkers, and life-long learners. I believe we have to open up places for our students that they wouldn't otherwise ever see. I attempt to create an environment which is nurturing and humorous. I feel everyday that I am not good enough, but I have my moments. I loom forward to talking about ideas and I know I will learn much more than I can offer.

Heather Wolpert-Gawron's picture

Hey Nelson,
I'm loving what I'm reading up there in your comment. It's like a list of everything you need to be a great middle school teacher. Keep 'um laughing, thinking, and learning. We all look forward to learning from you as well. Welcome to Edutopia and to our middle school forum!
-Heather WG

Laurie Bender's picture
Laurie Bender
7th/8th Math Teacher Parker, CO

I teach 7th and 8th grade math at a high-academic charter school in Parker, CO. I began my career as a mechanical engineer (CAD/CAM), spent time in customer support and as a technical writer. All of the skills I learned in my career (plus being a mom of 3 kids) has helped me become a better teacher. I love math and love teaching it! This is the hardest job I've ever held and it pays the least, but I am grateful to be a part of student's lives and share the joy of math with them. I wouldn't trade it for any of those other high-status, high-paying jobs.

Heather Wolpert-Gawron's picture

Welcome Laurie. You know, I think it's vitally important that we develop alternative means for people to leap into teaching from different careers, for just the reasons you're listing here. I too am a second career teacher in that I was on a different track and not happy there. I made lists of things about myself to help figure out my true calling and all arrows pointed to teaching. Imagine my surprise!

I think that what we bring from "the outside" it vital to what we teach within the walls of our school. Congrats for making the leap with me. Congrats on finding what you love. And congrats on finding a community in Edutopia.

Welcome, and we look forward to hearing from you more!

-Heather WG

Jill Hollingsworth's picture
Jill Hollingsworth
Program Supervisor of the Center for Suicide Prevention


Just a quick note to introduce myself...

For the past 10 years, I have focused primarily on suicide intervention (developed a high-school based suicide prevention program - RESPONSE - listed on the AFSP/SPRC best practice registry)

I'm currently researching primary prevention strategies that would help prevent depression. Mental health disorders typically begin emerging at age 14. Mindfulness techniques are not only showing great promise to prevent depression, but I'm hoping to extend the application of these techniques to help curb bullying. Your ideas and feedback are sincerely appreciated!

Liz Delmatoff's picture

Hello! We have just started using Social Media in our middle school. Our pilot project started in October, and we have made great gains in scores, attendance and engagement. Even though it is going great, I'd love to hear from any of you who are doing something similar. There is always so much more to learn!

Debra Burns's picture


I'm a middle school math teacher and have been teaching for the past 6 years. I'm avid fan of using latest tools especially online to help teach more effectively.Heather I'm a regular follower of your blog and simply love your posts!

Look forward to actively contributing and learning from this group.


Heather Wolpert-Gawron's picture

Welcome, to everyone. I see that our little middle school group is slowly growing, and it wonderful to see dialogues happening between folks to not only share information, but to also solve problems and seek tween advice. You are the ones who are making our group so successful.

I encourage everyone to feel free to start a discussion thread of your choice, moderate it, and keep the conversations going!


-Heather WG

Liz Delmatoff's picture

Our Middle School Social Media pilot project was just featured in the April edition of Today's OEA. The article is entitled "Thinking Differently". Check it out ~ we are very proud. It can also be read on www.edsome.com

Liz Delmatoff - George Middle School

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