Junior High Teachers Prepare Future Panthers

On Thursday, March 22, A group of eighth grade history teachers and administrators came to visit Pioneer valley to ask a few of our students about our freshman experiences. Also, they observed some history classes on campus to make sure incoming freshman are prepared. Many freshman now can be ready and comfortable for high school because their current eighth grade teachers can better prepare them and because of clubs like Link Crew.

“My name is Lisa Metzal. I teach World History at El Camino Junior High. I wanted to learn if the content I was teaching in my class and the activities prepares students to be confident high school students.” 
Do you think your students are ready for high school? 
“I think I try my hardest to get them that way.” -Lisa Metzal (8th grade History teacher)
“My name is Brandon Escobar. I teach at Tommie Kunst and I teach United States History. I came here to learn how to prepare my students for high school.”  
Do you think your students are ready for high school? 
“Yes” -Brandon Escobar (8th grade teacher)
“My name is Courtney Thomas. I’m at Fesler junior high and I teach World History. I came here to learn and to try to find out more about what my eighth-grade students can expect when they come to high school and what I need to do to help prepare them so they’re more successful when they get here.” 
Do you think your students are ready for high school? 
“For the most part, yes. I know they’re mentally ready, they think they’re ready, ready, ready. I think they’re going to find when they get here, that they’re going to like a lot of what I’ve seen today. I think they’re going to be very happy when I go back and say, ‘you will not believe what Pioneer Valley is like.”‘ -Courtney Thomas (8th grade History teacher)
“My name is Karen Mackley. I’m not teaching at a school right now, I am at the district office as a teacher on special assignment for social studies and history.” 
If you could give your past students advice for high school what would you say to them? 
“I would say take it seriously, but at the same time have fun. Make good choices.” -Karen Mackley (8th grade teacher)
“I want students to know that whether they like it or not their future is coming. If you think you can lower your head and hide from your future, it’s not going to happen. School is tough, but it’s one of the ways we get through. It’s not the only way, but it’s one of the ways. They should be thinking about where they’re going to go and how they’re going to get there. After that, I would hope that they understand that what they do matters and they can get something out of it. The opportunities are there for them, they just have to find them. Not everything is going to work out, you’re not going to like every class or every teacher. My parents always told me to make the best of it, and I don’t think I did make the best of it. I think I made a lot of mistakes so I’m not saying it’s easy to do, but I’m saying it’s important to do. Whether you like it or not you’re going to graduate eventually and you’re going to have to start doing something every day, so what is that something going to be?” Mr. K’s advice to incoming freshmen.