Middle Learning (Grades 5 - 8)
In third grade (many, many years ago) I would spend my free time standing in front of my Cabbage Patch dolls, proudly teaching them about writing, reading, and math. I stood in front of them, talking to them, sharing all I knew, feeding them everything they needed to know.
Many years later, I realized that I probably didn't teach my "class" much of anything, and not just because they were dolls.
In the late summer of 2002, I enthusiastically joined Galloway's faculty as a 6th grade Language Arts teacher. I was so proud to be in a school that recognized that students should be the center of learning and one that strived to get their students talking, questioning, and out of their seats.
And now, thirteen years later as the principal, I step out of my office and experience learning and student growth throughout Galloway's walls, halls, and outdoors. I spend my days with students who love to learn and teachers who love to teach and learn along with their students.
I get to see
Students drawing a map of Africa with chalk on Galloway's sidewalk
A teacher writing notes on the tile floor in his classroom
A class traveling to Publix to study volume
Students creating blood cells out of Play Dough
Seventh graders researching and creating their own updated geography textbook
Eighth graders hosting a "dinner" party as a Civil Rights Activist
And then I get to hear
A student in a small group asking, "How does Atticus know he will lose the case?"
An eighth grader belting out a solo at the chorus concert
A fifth grader asking her advisor, "Can we meet to go over the history notes?"
A teacher sharing with her teaching team that a student's dog just died
A student's yelp as something booms in the 8th grade science room
A parent praising his son for leading his student-led conference
Many of the teachers, including myself, have tipped how we were taught on its head and strive to find ways to make learning applicable, meaningful, and when possible, fun. We value interaction, student choice, creativity, and challenge. We endeavor to create an educational culture and community in which kids feel safe to take a risk, whether it's social-emotional or academic, because they know they are in an environment that not only cares and looks out for them, but also values mistakes.
I love my job and am very aware of how fortunate I am to be a part of a school where people truly love to be.
Middle Learning Principal