Students, teachers swap profiles to ease freshman year at McKeesport Area
Founders Hall Middle School students are swapping profiles with teachers as they transition into their freshman year at McKeesport Area High School.
In the tradition of social media where teens feel comfortable getting to know their peers through brief profile listings that include a photo, basic information and personal interests, more than 300 eighth-graders are creating student profiles so next year's teachers will know who they will meet in 2013-14.
The profiles were designed as part of the district's “My Action Plan for Success” program to have students and teachers working together toward goals of reaching and graduating from high school.
“The high school teachers are able to start early in creating relationships with incoming freshmen,” Founders Hall principal Karen Chapman said. “They will know each other a little more personally and be able to talk more comfortably. High school is such a huge place to these kids, and these relationships start them on a path to success.”
Ninth-grade teachers sent their own profiles to Founders Hall to let students know more about themselves and their classrooms. Teachers list their educational background, their hobbies and information about their families.
“This project lets us know that everyone has a different view on everything. Everyone's a different person,” eighth-grader Kelly Lewis said. “The teachers told us about themselves, but they also talked about what they want when they work with kids. Everything they do is for us — it's crazy.”
Students described the teacher profiles as good ice-breakers that let kids know what to expect and what's expected of them.
“Teachers can get a better feel for who you really are — how you act and what your attitude is,” eighth-grader Breon Green said.
Having teachers know the kids behind the classroom work will boost student confidence in the early weeks and months of the school year, classmates said.
“It's a great introduction — a way for students to put their best foot forward,” teacher Brie Adams agreed.
Founders Hall teacher Amy Kastronis said the profiles would be nice introductory assignments to start any school year.
“I would like to see this every year,” she said. “We are learning so much about our students that we would never know or never expect.”
Students listed their favorite subjects, strengths and hobbies, including music, sports and dancing.
They asked questions about high school and shared their fears — everything from bullying to academic challenges to getting lost in the halls.
“The questions they're coming up with are good,” Adams said. “Are the classes long? Are the teachers nice? Will I have enough time to get to class when the bell rings?”
Students said they're excited for their high school transition, despite any uncertainty or apprehension.
McKeesport Area High School principal Mark Holtzman said it's an engaging process for teachers to meet students on their level with the creation of profiles.
“This is giving teachers and students an opportunity to relate through popular culture,” Holtzman. “It's something that's comfortable and interesting for students today.”
Jennifer R. Vertullo is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1956, or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Jefferson Hills councilors get results of audit
- Forward supervisors skeptical Pangburn Hollow Road will be repaved this year
- Clairton joins Live Well Allegheny campaign
- Suspect recaptured after escaping custody at UPMC McKeesport
- White Oak rec center plans move ahead
- McKeesport Area honors longtime coach by naming Weigle-Schaeffer field in his honor
- West Mifflin Area to celebrate newest graduate’s life, legacy
- Hundreds celebrate McKeesport homecoming
- Dictionary distribution gives Forward 3rd-graders taste of old school
- Next of kin sought for man whose body was found in Youghiogheny River
- North Versailles’ ex-commissioner back on the trail