The 8th grade is an energetic and creative bunch of students, full of unique ideas and sometimes more energy than I can even handle. They are inquisitive and thoughtful, making their way towards high school readiness every day. Throughout this year, across every lesson and assignment, we have been working on becoming more detailed and backing up our answers with evidence. We have also been working on polishing our writing and learning how to give effective feedback to each other in the writing process. Though middle school is a time of exploring identity and new social dynamics, the students collaborate well, and have been able to come together as a whole class group to put on a Shakespeare play and put together a class poetry anthology. Above all, these students are fun, and their creativity pushes me to design lessons that allow for their freedom of expression.
10th Grade Public Speaking
On Wednesdays at UPCS, the MAT students are responsible for teaching morning classes while the rest of the faculty attend their weekly faculty meeting. In order to get some experience in the high school, I chose to teach the 10th grade on Wednesday mornings, in a public speaking and creative writing class I call “Writing Out Loud.” When the year began, it got off to a rocky start–I was nervous about teaching on my own for the first time, and the students were nervous about having to practice their public speaking skills. Nonetheless, throughout the course of the year, we have done stand-up comedy, story telling, and have even been working on a TEDxUPCS conference where every 10th grade student gets the opportunity to do a TED Talk on something that is interesting to them. Each student has great ideas and something to say, and I have been doing my best to help them find their voices.