• Dear Parents, Guardians and Students:

                “From the end springs new beginnings” –Pliny the Elder.  Pliny seems to know what we are all feeling this autumn.  The students have left elementary school to start anew with us here at South Junior High.  I encourage all of you to see this as a new beginning for every one involved: parents, guardians, students, and teachers.  This year your child will have me as their 7th grade United States history teacher, and it is my mission to make this transition as enjoyable as possible.  I truly look forward to helping your student grow in this new environment.

                I have been teaching in this district since 2004, and have taught in a variety of classrooms in that time. I have taught with success almost every class that has to do with history, geography, economics, and government. I started at South Junior High in 2004 and was then transferred to Apollo High School to lead the Advanced Placement (A.P.) World History classes.  In the summer I have worked at the Area Learning Center (ALC) with students who find the classroom a challenge for a variety of reasons.  Because of this background I always have very high expectations for my students and will use several techniques to help the students reach their full potential.  I feel most at home in the middle school and am very pleased to be at South Junior High.

    My classroom and our entire school follow a middle school philosophy that focuses on the student in a holistic manner.  This approach is exceedingly important to me.  I have worked in several educational environments in 13 years teaching, and I find this model the best for the student.  I conduct a semi-formal classroom, allowing students to develop their skills freely.

    My class only has two rules: First, treat yourself at all times with respect. Second, treat others’ and others property with full respect.  I find these simple rules are clear and easy to follow.  When behavioral problems arise, I believe that Publilius Syrus stated it aptly “Admonish your friends privately, but praise them openly.”  I always focus on the good, and try to make every student feel at home. In my class the student will never be singled out in front of their peers.  Over the course of the year I hope to give you a call to single out your child about a great success your student has had in my classroom.

    I have never been one who presents history in a boring way.  This year we will find ourselves on an odyssey through time.  We will fight in battle lines against the Confederacy; work in a Ford plant building Model-Ts, and even stand against the oppression of segregation.  Over the course of the year, we will partake in simulations of life in the United States from 1850 to today.   I believe a student should experience history, not just read about it.  We will show what we learned with a variety of essays and projects over the course of the year.  We will focus on critical thinking and applying what we have learned.  This class will not only examine what students know, but how they will apply it.

    Standards based grading is intended to ensure students succeed.  Grades are earned on an A-F scale on class room academic performance. I believe in giving students multiple opportunities to show their learning and will do all I can to guide a student to achieving the grade they deserve. 

    Once again, I look forward to working with you in the near future!  I have spent the entire summer building new and exciting lessons for us to experience.  Our class Schoology page is updated regularly.  This will allow you a window into our classroom.  All assignments will be posted as well.  If you have questions about the class please feel free to get in contact with me.  I look forward to working with you as we start a new beginning in learning.

     

                Sincerely,

     

    Jeb Gainey