Middle School Philosophy

"The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education."  Martin Luther  King Jr.

Character

Our goal, as a middle school faculty, is to make sure each of our 8th graders leave our division wishing they could return. We accomplish this goal by building strong relationships with students and then leveraging those relationships to help students learn and become good citizens.

Education research gives us empirical evidence of two things:
  1. Students who are engaged learn more.
  2. Student engagement can be raised with the perception that teachers care.
When teachers care, students learn more. At VMS, we not only care, we make sure the students know that we are working with them, inside the classroom and out.

Intelligence

"1,500 years ago, everybody knew that the Earth was the center of the universe. 500 years ago, everybody knew that the Earth was flat. And 15 minutes ago, you knew that humans were alone on this planet. Imagine what you'll know tomorrow." ―from the film Men in Black.

Ground-breaking discoveries are the result of challenging assumptions, something middle school students are learning to do. Learning to question with insight and respect is the most important part of a student's life. What is important, as a teacher, is not to have the answer to every question, but to teach students that they should question every answer. 

For example, students in our Algebra 1 classes learn on the first day that Math is flawed. Many people struggle with Mathematics because parts of discipline are irrational and impossible to logically explain.

There are a number of examples of assumptions and irrationality throughout math and science, often considered the two most logical subjects. So, why is it a legal requirement to teach material that is irrational? This is the exact question we hope every middle school student and teacher wrestles with.