Motivating, inspiring through connections, recognition

At Marietta Middle School, our mission is to inspire excellence through example and opportunity. We will create a safe, nurturing, disciplined community that motivates and enables all students to reach their fullest potential in order to become positive, productive members of society. When reflecting on our mission statement the words “motivates” and “positive” stand out to me when thinking about the culture at MMS. We strive every day to encourage our students to do their very best and we also want them to become productive members of society. If you have a student at Marietta Middle School or if you are a community member there are a lot of aspects in the school year that we do in order to help our students achieve their goals.

This year we have started having M&M (Mentor and Mentee) Meetings every nine weeks and we have also started a whole school award ceremony each nine weeks. Each of these aspects of the school year are used to motivate and encourage our students. First, the M&M Meetings is an advisory time where students meet with a certain teacher in order to review their grades and discuss goal setting. Every nine weeks the students meet with their advisor for approximately an hour and during this time the teacher plans activities for the students to participate in. The first meeting held in the beginning of the school year the students did get-to-know-you activities so that they could get to know the students that are in this group with them. Since then the students have met twice with their advisor and the same classmates to discuss their grades and set goals. This is a program that is also used in order to have our students build connections with teachers and staff members in the school. Not only do we want our students to be motivated and to succeed, but we also want them to be connected with the staff members in our building.

We have also started this year to recognize students for their GPA’s and perfect attendance in a whole school assembly. Every nine weeks we will have an assembly to recognize students who have had perfect attendance for that nine weeks, who have a 3.0 or better GPA. Also, in each grade level, two students will be recognized for their work ethic. The students with a 3.0-3.69 GPA will receive a certificate for being on the Honor Roll. A student with the a 3.7-4.0 GPA will receive a certificate for the Principal’s Award. All the students that are recognized for these areas will receive a certificate and a special prize for their excellent work. This is a time for not only the students to celebrate their individual success, but also for the staff members and other students to celebrate one another’s success. With the first nine weeks assembly that we had, it was very impressive to see the hard work that our students were doing! The numbers from the first assembly for Perfect Attendance were sixth grade with 49 students, seventh grade with 41 students and eighth grade with 50 students. The numbers for the Honor Roll were sixth grade with 78 students, seventh grade with 76 students, and eighth grade with 77 students. The numbers for the Principal’s List for the sixth grade were 33 students, for seventh grade 38 students and for eighth grade 29 students. We were pleased as a staff to see the students and for the numbers that we had. These numbers definitely made me have to order more certificates which is completely fine with me!

Along with teaching our students the fundamental of education and the important subject areas, we also strive to teach them character traits that are needed in order for them to be successful in life. Each month we focus on a different character trait within our school and two students from each grade level are recognized for displaying that character trait. This is another opportunity for our students to be recognized and also motivated to demonstrate that character trait that month and every month. The students that are recognized are chosen by their grade level teachers who write a description about how they demonstrated that character trait. The students also receive their names on the MMS sign and a certificate to a local restaurant or movie passes. We enjoy teaching our students about these character traits and also rewarding them for demonstrating these character traits!

When talking to our middle school students, we also want them to know that we recognize the positive work that they are doing and we are proud of them. While middle school is a hard age, it is amazing to see the good work that our students are doing. Every day, we teach our student to be safe, respectful, and responsible and to make wise choices. Making wise choices is something that we want our students to start now so that they can reach their fullest potential. Our goal is for all of our students’ success; not only in the classrooms of MMS, but also in our society and throughout their lives!

Brittany Schob is principal of Marietta Middle School.