Wednesday, September 23 started off as a typical morning for Marietta Middle School students. The students arrived at school, made their way to their lockers and proceeded to their first period classes. As the students prepared for another day of learning, they would not only be learning about the educational standards that they needed to know, but they would also be learning about the skills that are important in order to get along with one another.
On this day, Ron Glodoski came to Marietta Middle School to lead a whole-school assembly on “The Real Deal of Turning Yourself Around.” Ron Glodoski is the Leading National Expert on Bullying, Substance Abuse and Resiliency. Ron focuses his student programs on helping students avoid drug, alcohol and tobacco abuse, destructive decisions, feelings of low self-esteem, bullying, teasing, name calling, conflict vs. bullying, crime and violence, truancy and behaviors that inhibit learning. This assembly helped our students to better understand the difference between conflict and bullying and how to take responsibility for their own actions. After the whole- school assembly, Ron Glodoski worked with each individual grade level during 30-minute breakout sessions. During these sessions he led exercises on the correlation between verbal abuse and destructive decisions. Ron also spent two class periods in a health classroom. Then, after school, he gave a presentation to the staff on “How to Motivate the Unmotivated Student.” This assembly was arranged and prepared in order to teach the students the importance of the choices that they are making each and every day. When preparing our students to be successful in their future, it is so important that we teach them the characteristics of responsibility and being responsible for their own actions.
The example above is just one way of how a “typical” day in the life of a middle-school student unfolds differently than it has in the past. There are a variety of ways to learn, and fortunately the students at MMS have many opportunities to learn in the way that fits them best. When walking into the middle school, there is technology being used in almost every classroom. Along with Marietta High School, Marietta Middle School received funding from a YEC grant that supplied new and more technology throughout the whole building. Teachers in every classroom have laptop carts or Chromebook carts that are available to them every day which they utilize in order to teach their students how to use technology appropriately. The students in grades six through 12 in the Marietta City School district have also been given their own Google email address so that they are able to learn how to use Google and also how to communicate correctly with emails. Technology is something that we see and use every day, and it is including our children in our society. The technology that we have been given offers our teachers resources in order to utilize programs that engage our students!
Along with learning through a presentation and technology, the students of MMS will be learning collaboratively in all three grade levels through literature. The Marietta Friends of the Library donated over $3,000 in order to purchase every student at the middle school the book Wonder by R.J. Palaco. We will be participating in a school-wide read in which all the students of the middle school will be reading this book and discussing the meaning behind the book. This book is about a boy who is just an ordinary kid with a facial deformity, who is about to start fifth grade in a regular school. Wonder‘s theme is treating people with respect, no matter their differences.
Student success and preparing our students for their future is what we strive to do each and every day. Not only do we want our students to have the knowledge in order to be prepared for high school and their future career, but we want them to have the skills in order to work with everyone around them and learn how to show respect to others. Our every day lives are filled with opportunities to make choices and to think about how we are going to treat one another. It is important for our students to know the impact that their choices have on themselves and also on the others around them. If you know one of our Marietta Middle School students, take the time to ask them about school and the different ways that they have been learning. Hopefully, they will be able to teach everyone around them something new also!