In a world filled with problems where your student must find “x” at all costs, here is an oasis. Your middle school student will discover new worlds through reading. They will be transported back in time to familiar places. They will lose themselves in mysterious swamps. They will fly to Neverland! Reading is an important skill that is usable in every subject.
In writing, students will unearth the beauty in adjectives and verb choice. They will see their writing transform throughout the year as they pick up new techniques. They will leave this year with essays, stories, and ideas in abundance.
On the sidebar, you will see the most important links to your student’s success in their English class this year. Homework will be posted weekly with upcoming events quick at hand. I will write a blog with funny stories and add pictures you may want to save of your middle school student’s school year. I also have a place for common links your student may need to visit from home. Everything is meant to be accessible for both you and your student!
Kayla was born and raised in Eugene and even attended WCS for her PreK-4th years. She completed her Bachelor's of Education with an ESOL endorsement at Western Oregon University in 2011. She started working at WCS for the 2013-14 school year.
Kayla has been married to her husband, Kyle, for seven years. She enjoys spending her free time with him playing soccer, hiking, playing excessive amounts of board games, and rooting for the Portland Timbers soccer team. Their spoiled cat, Sammy, gets far too many cuddles for her own good. Her phone is filled with too many pictures of her cat, so if you ask about the cat, be prepared to be shown copious amounts of pictures. Nothing beats a good cup of hot chocolate with raspberry flavoring in it (no whipped cream because that takes away from the amount of room that can be spent on more cocoa) and a rainy day spent inside by the fire place. It might be with a book, a video game, a board game, or just petting the cat, but Oregon is the ideal place for such a gloomy day!
Kayla thinks that the best part about teaching middle schoolers is how much fun they can be! Sure, there are emotions (and lots of them), but their senses of humor are developing, and it's inspiring to see what genuinely good people they can be. The most difficult part is letting them learn to function like adults. They are encountering really tough problems that many adults don't even know how to navigate! It's difficult to give advice and then to let them decide how best to handle it because you want to make sure they come out of it ok. More often than not, they know the best path, and they will surprise you with their mature thinking. Sometimes, that's not the case and you wonder how we took so many steps backwards when they were finally showing glimpses of improvement. But patience and love pays off in dividends. WCS students are goodhearted people, and it's an honor to be a part of their lives.
Reading and writing were always my favorite subjects in school. I always thought the best days at school were the ones where I could read uninhibited for long periods of time and lose myself in worlds filled with magic, adventure, and danger! I feel one of the most important aspects of my job is to create a class where kids get the opportunity to fall in love with new books and are filled with ideas to create their own stories.
Note From Mrs. Armstrong
Being the middle school language arts teacher at WCS is not a path I saw for myself, but God’s plans for me have always been bigger than my own. I always dreamt of being a teacher. My educational career saw me at the College of Education at Western Oregon University. I graduated cum laude with my degree in Early Childhood/Elementary Education. Understanding the difficulties ESL (English as a Second Language) students face when entering an English-speaking classroom, I also graduated with my ESOL endorsement. Following college, I worked as a substitute at the Lane County Headstart program for a year and a half. In the summer of 2013, I was hired at WCS to be the second third grade teacher. The next summer, the WCS administration offered me the position of the middle school language arts teacher position. Boy, that took a lot of praying! Taking a chance on the nudge I felt from God, I accepted. That year, I fell in love with a new job.
Every year, I push myself to study the state’s standards and inject my own creativity into the lessons. I want my classroom to be a place of learning, but there are so many ways to learn! I am constantly challenged by the students’ needs and desires. I love to hear what works for them and what they’re interested in as it forces me out of my comfort zone to find ideas to make the lessons work for them. This is truly my passion.