Middle School Students Soaring Above Academics
Published in the February 2023 Spartan Spotlight Newsletter
At St. Joseph Catholic School we celebrate our middle school students. We know our academics are strong. Also, we know they are an excellent foundation for our students’ current and future success. Our students are intelligent and able to form good relationships with each other.
Our middle school teachers know and love their students. These middle teachers want their students to know of God’s love, and they do this through their example and with the help of the classes they teach. Some of the classes they teach are Spirituality – Grade 5; Old Testament – Grade 6; New Testament/Gospels – Grade – 7; Social Justice and Christian Morality. Our desire is for our children to know and love God and to grow in their relationship with God and others.
At the beginning of school, middle school teachers introduce their expectations for their classes to middle school parents. This early connection gives parents a feeling for the transition to or within middle school and begins or continues a strong relationship between teachers and parents. We pride ourselves on prioritizing our family-feel atmosphere. However, if we are being honest, this focus on family can be good or bad for students. It is good for them when they need additional support in their school subjects. Since our middle school teachers have these students for four consecutive years, they see students as their own children.
Teachers know their strengths and weaknesses and can tailor their teaching to accommodate each child’s learning style. This connection also supports a mutual respect between teachers and students over their time together. Our students can feel safe and confident about going to our teachers to help them navigate school and life.
Middle School students have many opportunities to grow in their faith and serve others. Our 8th-grade students lead the rosary each month for the entire student body. All K-8 students attend Wednesday Mass being hosted by an individual class.
It is a tradition that our 8th-grade students be the driving force for service projects and fundraisers for the entire school. SJS middle school teachers encourage students to think outside of themselves to provide for those in need. As an example, in 2020 middle school students rallied the entire school to raise over $10,000 for a family who lost their home and belongings to a fire. In 2021 the 8th-grade class was instrumental in coordinating the giving of over 1,000 pairs of shoes to the Soles for Souls project which provides shoes for developing nations. The opportunities are endless, and these service opportunities provide real-life ways for our students to think beyond themselves to be virtuous leaders.
As Middle School students mature, it is our prayer that they innately live lives of virtue and encourage others to do the same. Students and alumni are helping us fulfill our mission every day in the communities in which they live in. Thank you to our incredible teachers for pouring their heart and soul into the children each day. St. Therese of Lisieux referred to St. John of the Cross, who said: “The smallest movement of pure love is more useful to the Church than all other works put together.” Our middle school teachers together with staff aim to do just this each day and teach the students to do the same.