This project is an interview of teachers at The Workshop Middle School and their middle school experience.
Ariel is the advisor to both sixth and seventh grade at The Workshop Middle School. She went to Highland Park Middle School in New Jersey and graduated in 2009. A few things that she remembered were the cafeteria and the school field trips. She enjoyed middle school but it wasn’t her favorite. Ariel liked 8th grade the best because in 6th and 7th-grade things felt more uncomfortable and awkward. By 8th grade, she was comfortable. She and her friends even started the first Gender Sexuality Alliance in New Jersey middle schools. She always wished that she had had an advisory! It would have made things easier. She would have had space in school to connect with people.
Ariel’s favorite teacher at Highland park middle school was Ms. Botvanick, who taught Creative Writing. As a teacher, Ariel wants to be thought of as funny, supportive, and a safe person to talk to.
Ellis, the humanities teacher for the workshop, went to middle school at Roy H. Mann (class of 2011) which is located in Bergen Beach Brooklyn. They did not have a great experience there. Ellis stated that the education was less than great and poorly funded. It was also a big school, which made it hard to make friends and build confidence. Ellis would have preferred to go to a school like a Workshop! Not only would it have changed where they went to high school, but it would also have boosted their confidence! Their favorite teacher was Ms. Valentine who taught 7-grade English. She was always so authentic and kind and always recommended good books. Not unlike Ms. Valentine, Ellis wants to be a caring and kind teacher.
Bridget, a guest photographer to help in humanities, went to middle school at Emerson J. dillion in phoenix new york, and graduated in 2005. Her middle school experience was a little chaotic and intimidating. People were also getting into fights. She wished that she had a more art-focused school and that they were more encouraging. This she thinks would have made her more confidant in her art and less timid. She would have found her voice earlier. Bridget’s favorite teacher was Mr Ford who taught Science. She said that he was funny and was easy to relate to and would get on their level and talk to them. Bridget wants to be an encouraging and empowering teacher and really wants to help students communicate their ideas.
Corey, the genius teacher for the 6th and 7 grade at the workshop school, went to a catholic middle school called St Perpetua School in Lafayette California, and graduated in 2006. She had a relatively easy social life there and liked it much more than elementary school. However, it wasn’t ideal. she didn’t grow up in a religious family and was surrounded by conservatives, only going there because her mother was the art teacher. However, it did encourage her to go to a better high school. Her favorite teacher was Mrs. Cafferty, who taught 7th grade English. She was warm and tough and was someone Corey wanted to impress. Like one of her fellow colleagues, Corey wants to be someone her students look forward to seeing. And she wants her students to know that she takes their ideas seriously and believes in them.