It is my conviction that all students have the capacity to learn and accomplish great things if they are given the tools, support and inspiration to do so. According to Linda Lumsden and her work on student motivation to learn, “Motivation to learn is a competence acquired through general experience but stimulated most directly through modeling, communication of expectations, and direct instruction or socialization by significant others (especially parents and teachers)”(Lumsden, 1994).
As a teacher, I am not only a facilitator of instruction but also serve as a guide for the students as they explore their own interests because this is what builds intrinsic motivation and desire from within. In order for these things to happen students must feel and be in a safe learning environment which promotes discussion and interaction with his/her peers.
To teach in a manner that is reflective of our society I incorporate technology daily within the classroom. It is these real world experiences that students engage in which enhances every lesson that I teach. Finally, all of the components of a successful classroom and student cannot be possible if it is not for the guidance and relationship one has with their Heavenly Father.
As the classroom teacher, it is my special privilege to work with students one-on-one and as a class so that they may establish and foster a solid relationship with their personal Savior.
Eighth grade is the culmination of a student’s Miramonte experiences.
Many of Miramonte’s eighth graders have attended the school since kindergarten or first grade. At the eighth grade level, we try to move beyond the foundational goals already established in previous grades. Our goal is to not only spend the year preparing students to be successful in high school, but to prepare our graduates to be successful LEADERS & ROLE MODELS in whatever high school they choose to attend.
We want our graduates to be prepared to not only be involved citizens and leaders here on earth, but also joyous citizens of God's eternal kingdom. Because of this, Miss Melbourne and I try to spend as much time as possible in extending classroom learning to include opportunities for all eighth graders to practice their leadership skills and take further steps in their spiritual growth.
I am responsible for teaching Bible to all eighth graders as well as eighth grade math to qualifying seventh and eighth graders, while Mr. Walker Lepulu, who has a Masters in Mathematics Education, teaches Algebra 1 to qualifying eighth graders. Miss Melbourne, the seventh grade teacher, teaches language arts to all seventh and eighth graders while I teach science and social studies to all seventh and eighth graders.
Field Trips. Throughout the year, eighth graders participate in several curriculum-oriented field trips. While they are studying the U.S. Constitution, the students participate in a mock trial in a Santa Clara Superior Courtroom. Near the end of the school year, eighth grade students have the opportunity to tour the U.S.S. Potomac, now moored in the Port of Oakland at Jack London Square. Other trips include an ice skating physical education trip, a trip to San Jose State University to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Library, and a day touring Mountain View Academy to help them as they decide which high school they plan to attend.
Junior High Ski Trip. Seventh and eighth graders participate in an annual ski/snowboarding trip. The trip includes one day of tubing and one day of skiing or snowboarding. The trip counts as a physical education activity so students who choose not to participate must complete alternative physical education projects.
Southern California Trip. In April the eighth graders at Miramonte take a week-long, curriculum-based trip to Southern California. The trip begins with a stop at the Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament in Buena Park, California. The experience gives the students an up-close glimpse of some of the things they learned in seventh grade history class. The next day the students begin their three-day science camp adventures on Catalina Island. The class participates in the CIMI science camp at Cherry Cove. The hands-on activities include environmental education training, day and night snorkeling, hiking, and ocean kayaking. The trip concludes with a visit to the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles. The eighth graders participate in a program called Tools for Tolerance for Teens.
What makes teaching at Miramonte an enjoyable experience? I enjoy teaching in a small school atmosphere where it is possible to get to know all the students on campus. I love working with the wonderful colleagues I have at Miramonte. I appreciate working at such a well-maintained facility. . . and most of all, I enjoy the students.
My life is very blessed and never boring!