Teaching middle school is not for the faint of heart. But if you're called to do it, you know there's nothing else quite like it. Join us in discussing what works - and what doesn't.

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

Heather Wolpert-Gawron Middle School teacher by day, Tweenteacher by night

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

Comments (156)

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Seventh grade Language Arts teacher for Reynoldsburg City Schools, Ohio

New to Middle School (Junior High)

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After twelve years teaching high school English (grades 9-12), I will be teaching 7th grade Language Arts this fall! Exciting, eh? I am VERY happy to find this group, and thrilled with all the positive comments made here about working with 7th graders! I did a lot of substitute teaching at the middle school level when my own children were that age, and I enjoyed it immensely, so I feel positive about working with younger children. But, I'll be stopping in here for ideas and advice, I am sure!!! (Middle School is 5/6, and JH is 7/8 in our district.)

Joan Colonna

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After 11 years teaching third grade, I will be teaching 8th grade Language Arts/Reading and a 7th grade Language Arts GT class. I'm very excited about my new adventure as Language Arts is a real love of mine! Honestly though, it's a bit scary since it is such a big change for me. I have been doing a great deal of reading and studying to prepare but still feel I am looking into a bit of a "black hole." This will be the first year that our school has separated Language Arts and Reading. So, there aren't many specific answers to my questions here. I'm looking for all of the advice and information I can get!

7th & 8th grade math teacher

middle school math

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I have taught upper elementary for nine years, and this year I will teach 7th and 8th grade math. Due to budget cuts, I will also teach one period of health/PE. I am looking forward to sharing information in this forum regarding math instruction, social/emotional learning, and technology integration. After a mellow summer, it's nice to get my brain fired up again.

Middle School teacher by day, Tweenteacher by night

Welcome Fellow Middle School Teachers

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Howdy from your facilitator, Heather. I hope that over these last few months you've gotten a lot out of your conversations with other middle school teachers. I want to encourage you, if you haven't already done so, to begin your own thread here in the middle school discussion group. Develop a question or comment or bring a news story to our attention. Then see who bites. Periodically, check back and try to massage the conversation or continue the dialogue by asking questions of those who commented.

It's an entirely different dimension of online participation, and the middle school discussion group here at Edutopia is a great place to try your hand.

I look forward to reading and participating myself!

-Heather Wolpert-Gawron

Hello, Heather My name is

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Hello, Heather

My name is Lynn, and Im a new member to the Edutopia community; I'm also a school psychologist for middle and high school, in northeast Georgia. Looking forward to discussions with this group.

8 grd L A; 6-8 grd Service Learning; Student Council advisor

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This is my 8th year teaching and I have taught middle school the whole time... I LOVE my middle schoolers!! This is my second year back to teaching LA after teaching Intensive Reading again for two years (I taught 2 I.R. years, 1 LA year, 3 I.R. years, and now on 2nd year back to LA) - this has been a rough start to the new school year, for some reason.... I know that I am not the only one feeling this way at my school, but it is so frustrating!
We are in Correct Two from FLDOE and so we have a ton of hoops to jump through, besides doing our billions of other tasks... PLUS we are in full inclusion this year... so much to do!!! Any and all ideas are welcome! Oh, plus I am in the last four weeks of my second Masters' Degree (TESOL)... can't wait to be done...

7th Grade Math Teacher, Pennsylvania

7th Grade Math

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I am currently in my 5th year of teaching middle school math in Elizabethtown, PA. My first two years were spent teaching 6th grade math and 8th grade Pre-Algebra, but I have been teaching 7th grade math since my third year. I really enjoy teaching 6th and 7th graders, but the 8th graders were just a little over the top for me ;)

I am also in the process of earning my Master's Degree in Educational Technology Leadership from George Washington University, which is completely fully online. I am taking two courses this fall, and then I will have one final course to take in the spring before graduating! Joining a forum was part of the requirements of one of my current courses, but I am very excited to join in and connect with other middle school teachers!

I am also in my 4th year of coaching volleyball at the high school in my school district. It is interesting to get a different perspective on students in high school versus in middle school. In my free time, I enjoy traveling with my husband, reading, and spending time with my 2-year-old nephew.

Again, I am looking forward to connecting and getting involved in the forum!

Hey from Washington!

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I've been leading reading groups in WA middle schools for about six years now. I love the kids, and every day is a new adventure! My interests are differentiated instruction, technology integration, and student accountability in the learning process. I like to take a minimally experimental in my curriculum, and I've incorporated a number of foreign language-learning strategies into my reading groups. I think students can connect with their own language in the same way they learn to connect with second languages, using similar strategies. They should be constantly involved in the language - visually, orally, and aurally. I'd like to explore new practices that accomodate this approach.

Eighth grade social studies teacher, Indiana

Moving on up to eighth grade

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This will be my first year teaching at the middle school level. I have taught third grade for seven years. This will definitely be a change for me. I look forward to reading and discussing topics in the future.

English and Literature-Grades 5-8

First Timer

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Greetings to the Community!
I have a 5th grade homeroom and teach all the English and Literature in 5-8. I love to teach! I want to do it better today than I did yesterday.
Have completed class #1 in my Master's of Education Program: Teaching, Learning, and Leadership.
Look forward to learning more here!

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