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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...

Related Tags: 6-8 Middle School
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155 Replies 5537 Views
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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Ryan Reed's picture
Ryan Reed
7/8th Grade Social Studies Teacher in Maine

Hello! This is my first year teaching, and in that I am immersed in the craziness of Middle School! I teach 6th Grade World Geography and 7th Grade US History in a rural Maine 5-8 school. I love to use technology in the classroom and bring a laid-back and humorous attitude to the classroom. You can follow me on Twitter @ryanrobertreed

Larissa Spare's picture
Larissa Spare
7th Grade English

I am 2nd year teacher from an urban school in Kansas City Metro Area. I teach 7th grade English and am in the throws of the assessment season. I have a background in speech/theater and am in striving to incorporate differentiation, collaboration, and technology into my classroom instruction. As a new teacher I am discovering everyday how much I don't know and how much I have to learn about teaching. I am looking forward to being apart of this group and learning a lot about teaching.

In the midst of budget cuts and limited resources, I do what I can with what I have, but I need more help to be better at what I do.

Chris Leece's picture

I am in my seventh year teaching middle school science. I currently teach 7th and 8th grade science, along with an accelerated 9th grade science course. I have a degree in Biology and my Masters in Education, and I am currently working toward an administrative degree, although I am not sure that administration is what I want to do.

I look forward to collaborating with all of you and sharing what I have learned in the last several years. I really believe that the best way to move our students forward is to work together and share the best practices. Thank you all in advance for your willingness to share your knowledge.

Barb Beebe's picture
Barb Beebe
Middle School English Teacher

I really appreciate the enthusiasm of the teachers who have commented on this site. This is my seventeenth year of teaching middle school. I feel like I have recently lost a lot of creativity and authenticity in my classroom as I am pressured to teach so that my students can pass the state tests. In the past year or so, I have worked hard to incorporate differentiated lessons into the mix as well. I will be gleaning ideas from each person who responds here. So, again and ahead of time--thanks to all.

Adrienne's picture
Adrienne
Middle School Social Studies Teacher

Hello everyone! I am currently in my third year of teaching 6th grade World Studies in a Middle School. I also teach extended year and summer school Reading to 6th & 7th graders. I try to infuse critical thinking into each of my lessons. After joining a "Critical Inquiry" project last year though our county, I have made it my mission to expand the curriculum as much as I can. I have learned that something as simple as re-wording a question, can really get the students thinking at a higher and deeper level. My techniques are not perfect by any means, but I will continue get the students thinking "outside the box."

I am currently enrolled in a Master's program. One of our tasks this week is to join and participate in in a blog for the purpose of communicating and reaching out to other educators and professionals. After researching and reading other ones, Edutopia seemed to have topics I can relate to the most! I am looking forward to being here and cannot wait to get involved in a discussion!

CROB's picture
CROB
Seventh grade teacher from Snellville, GA

I am currently working on my Master's, and my assignment was to find an educational blog. I am so glad I found this site. I have been teaching seventh graders for the past 16 years, and I needed to continue my journey of learning. I have learned so much about my experiences by just viewing the blogs. It feels good knowing that I am not alone. Thanks.

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

Hi All!
The kids call me "Dr.B." because I earned my doctorate 10 years ago, when I thought I wanted to teach at the college level. I did teach graduate courses in teaching methods as an adjunct, while I kept my day job as a special education teacher in the public school system. Then, I decided, if I were to "talk the talk," I needed to "walk the walk," that is, to actually teach general education. How could I tell general education teachers to accommodate a class of diverse learners if I never did it myself. ...to experience 80+ students in one day, rather than my caseload of 20? I made the change, and love it! I teach 6th grade language arts, and cannot imagine doing anything else! However, I marvel at those of you have time to experience anything outside of the classroom. My day is full, teaching, planning, and providing corrective feedback for the 85 students I teach in my 3 language arts block classes. I am also an avid cyclist and have recently taken up yoga...and I do try to squeeze in 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep. So, how do you all do it?
I am so happy to join a group of like-minded professional who will help me navigate the unpredictable waters of "education in the middle!"

Dr. Dave Kommer's picture

I look forward to learning much from this group. I became a middle level educator in CA in 1987 with the publication of Caught in the Middle. I served as a middle school assistant principal and principal until I moved to OH to work in teacher preparation in 1995. Ohio has a separate middle school license (though we constantly have to fight to keep it.). I present annually at NMSA and hope to meet you all in Louisville. Heather, I started using your Tween book as a text this year. My candidates love it.

Kendra's picture

Hello all!! I have been searching for a teaching job for the past year and two days ago I was offered my first job....1900 miles away from home. So in a month I am relocating to Arizona from Chicago and starting my first year teaching 6th/7th grade Language Arts. I am very overwhelmed and I am looking for any ideas/tips/suggestions as to what I should focus on. I am reading several books at the moment and my to do list is now several pages long, I am unsure what is needed and what can be done in time. Any help would be amazing!!

sm1974l's picture
sm1974l
I'm a new teacher. Currently a substitute until I get a classroom of my own

Hello everyone,
I am a new teacher, but am currently a substitute until I find a home of my own. I am a 4-9 certified (ohio) language arts and social studies teacher. I am also able to teach k-12 reading. I absolutely LOVE middle school, and I cannot wait to chat with all of you.

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