Getting Our Feet Wet

Last week’s canoe trip can be declared a success! I honestly can’t remember a more “drama free” trip in all the years I’ve been teaching 12-14. No tears, no emergency room visits, no freak-outs from too many scary stories! Even the chili looked better than ever before:

Chili cook-off entries

Chili cook-off entries

Another thing we noticed was how smoothly the students got along (for the most part). The teachers loved watching the spontaneous game on the river bank, where girls and boys of both 7th and 8th grade tried to push each other in. It ended with all the kids deciding to jump in the river together! I swear, this sweet moment went on without prompting from teachers! Later, many kids brought up that afternoon activity as a great “bonding moment”.

Montessoaring into the river!

Montessoaring into the river!

We also wanted to share some classic group photos from last week’s trip:

At the beloved Belvedere Oasis

At the beloved Belvedere Oasis

Intrepid 7th Graders

Intrepid 7th Graders

Crazy Eights

Crazy Eights

Welcome to the new school year!

Greetings parents of the 7th and 8th grade!

The classroom environment is looking fresh and clean, complete with that “new school year” smell (actually, it’s the students’ beloved apple pie candle that we lit this morning before the open house…). Gregg and I are excited to see our students: returning 8th graders, siblings of grads, and those who are new to us altogether!

Gregg Sparks & Meg Broz, year 5.

Junior High Superheroes

This year, you’ll hear a lot from the school about fostering an inclusive community. This is incredibly important on the 12-14 level, where students work within a home classroom, but also combine with 12-14 students from other classrooms in several other classes throughout the week.

At the beginning of the school year, it sometimes appears that the 8th graders are in their own bubble. As they begin to remember that they were friends with the incoming 7th graders in past years, we see old friendships being rekindled, and plenty more new relationships and collaborations develop. This truly begins on the class Canoe Trip, a bonding experience like no other! (Who wouldn’t bond over paddling and slogging through a muddy river, scary stories around the fire, a fierce capture-the-flag game, and a spicy pot of prize-winning chili??)

This blog will be a place for us to share general classroom announcements, photos, interesting articles and resources, and thoughts on education and adolescents. Blog posts are automatically emailed to all parents of the class.

"Irked By How Millennials Speak?" (click image to read/listen to the story)

“Irked By How Millennials Speak?” (click image to read/listen to the story)

For instance, you might like to check out this NPR story about the way millennials speak. For all you parents who feel like communicating with your adolescent is becoming a series of misunderstandings, the story posits that “‘I feel like’ isn’t just about feelings, it’s a way of introducing an opinion.” And I’m sure you’re hearing a lot of opinions from your tween right about now!

You’ll learn more about us, the classroom, the Junior High level, and the upcoming school year when we all get together for Back to School Night (Thursday, September 8, at 5:30 pm). If you ever have questions, feel free to email Gregg and/or me directly. Our contact info can be found on the “About Us” page.

See you then!

Meg