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

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

Val's picture
6th grade language arts teacher, Wheaton, Illinois

Congratulations on your pending move to Arizona and a new job! Where in Arizona will you be teaching? I teach in the Chicago area but travel frequently to Az.I'd love to hear about the schools there.

Liz Morris's picture

Hi Kendra!
I did exactly as you are doing twelve years ago. I came to Arizona from Illinois thinking I'd only stay a year or two....the sunny blue skies never get old. In my past district many teachers were from the midwest, which is helpful for teachers like yourself. What school district will you be working with?

Carol's picture

I have the privilege of teaching 7th and 8th graders Language Arts. In our school, we teach Grammar and Literature in separate classes with a separate teacher, so I have some unique challenges. Next year, our district elected to combine the 8th grade Grammar class (which I teach) with the Technology class. We will team teach the class. The objectives in the English/Grammar class revolve around grammar and vocabulary with a strong emphasis on the development of effective writing skills. The Technology side focuses on learning the basic operations of Office venues, as well as evaluation the Internet sources, using resources, etc. This is a first for a school in this area, so I would like some suggestions that will integrate the two to meet all objectives. I have several ideas that will integrate more of the student curriculum with some collaboration. These include developing a Video game with required narrative writing to describe it, persuasive writing to sell it, and techinical writing to explain it. Another suggestion given to me was developing a magazine that incorporates multiple skills. Someone also suggested a virtual city the students develop...... I am open and eager for any suggestions out there. Also, if you have any ideas on ways to integrate technology with the understanding and practice of grammar, feel free to share. Thanks.

Kendra's picture

The job is in Kingman Arizona. It is the northwest corner and truly is the middle of nowhere. I visited this past weekend and i am nervous about taking the position. The people there did not have good things to say about the town and they hired 12 new teachers this year and my team is all brand new teachers. When I asked them about the kids they did not say much and nobody could give me a novel list or a map of their program. I am starting to become scared and I don't know if it is a good choice for me, but I have had no interviews or job offers where I am from (chicago).

Liz Morris's picture

Kingman is definitely out there...about an hour from Las Vegas! I'm sure being a rural part of the state it is hard to get great teachers. I know that Phoenix Elementary School District is still looking for teachers. Go to there website and see what is available. I would recommend contacting the human resource department. I have some direct contacts if you are interested I can give them to you. Phoenix Elementary School DIstrict has schools that are in the heart of Phoenix. I was just hired as a math coach and it seems like a great place to work.

KerrieW's picture
6/7 Social Studies teacher

Hi all!

My name is Kerrie and I teach grade 6 world geo and grade 7 ancient civ. I love middle school and have been teaching these levels for about 13 years now. I am very fortunate to teach at the middle school in the town that I live in. Sometimes it makes going to the town pool tough, but I love having the kids as neighbors and seeing them at town events.

Larry Brown's picture
Larry Brown
Grade 8 science teacher from Medway, MA

Hello All. I'm career changer from the world of retail. I just finished my 5th year teaching science and very much loving it! Right now, I'm taking a course on using technology in the classroom to reach unmotivated students. Being more familar and using technology is something that I need to embrace and not be afraid to try. My eighth graders are so "internet savy" and I need to not only keep up with them but gain their interest by leading. I've set up a My Wiki site and working to expand it daily with the multitude of tools available. We're learning how social networking can be a useful tool, so I signed up for this site, edutopia and joined this middle school group to read discussions and post comments.

Jadico31's picture
Middle School ELA/Social Studies

Wow, school is off and going in the state of Louisiana and I must say it is hectic. This year I am responsible for educating 7th graders in reading, English and American History. I am alway excited about the start of a new school year and this year is no different. I know that each of my students are capable of achieving anything that they set their mind to and rising to my expectations. This summer saw me enroll in a Master of Education at Walden University and I that is how I became aware of the resources available here on Edutopia. I am looking forward to the interaction with my fellow educators!!!

Jadico31's picture
Middle School ELA/Social Studies

Where do you teach? I am looking at your grade/subject levels and know that our schools in Louisiana have different subjects at that grade... 6th grade gets Ancient Civilizations and 7th grade gets American History. With states selecting to go to a Common Core Curriculum will that affect what subjects are taught at certain grade levels across all states?

LaTonya Strong's picture
LaTonya Strong
7th Grade Science Teacher from Rock Hill, South Carolina

Hello, My name is LaTonya Strong. I am a 7th grade science teacher from South Carolina. I hope to meet a lot of new and interesting people to share ideas and "war" stories with.

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