TMS eighth-graders look back

Taitlyn Harrigfeld shares her memories of TMS during her year-end presentation. Photo by Bob McDonnell Surveyor photo

Taitlyn Harrigfeld shares her memories of TMS during her year-end presentation.
Photo by Bob McDonnell
Surveyor photo

By Bob McDonnell
The Surveyor
For two days during the last week of school, Turner Middle School (TMS) hallways and classrooms were abuzz. In addition to the normal chatter, mixed with some year-end excitement, TMS eighth-graders showcased their presentation of learning.
TMS teacher Stephanie Rector had the task of assigning more than 140 students a 15-minute slot to summarize, wrap up, and reflect on their time at TMS.
“The kids share and apply what they have learned while here — in a formal manner,” stated Rector. These presentations are a TMS tradition, and Rector knows they have been happening for at least 17 years.
Rector recalls how many years ago the presentations took the form of three-ring notebooks. Now students utilize technology; including IPads, electronic notebooks, and other devices they have known for most of their lives. Rector says the students find it humorous to look at themselves in pictures and videos in prior years.
Students work in their classes on producing a website or a video that helps them convey what TMS has shown them. They invited friends and family to this two-day event.
Taitlyn Harrigfeld liked doing her presentations. “I can show people who I really am,” she said. She termed herself as independent and growing up.
Ethan DeCoteau’s parents, Anne and Bob, had not seen their son Ethan’s presentation before seeing it in the classroom. They waited anxiously in the hallway until it was Ethan’s time to present.

 

Ethan DeCoteau enjoys sharing his accomplishments at TMS with his friends and his parents.

Ethan DeCoteau enjoys sharing his accomplishments at TMS with his friends and his parents.

Part of Ethan’s presentation was reciting poetry he created. The assignment was to write a poem about an artifact. Ethan chose to tell about a rag he and his father used when working on a car.
Ethan also says he will remember a saying used by Ms. McMahon—“Due today does not mean do today.”
“It went pretty well,” is the way Parker Buersgen assessed his presentation. He took a pragmatic approach when asked what he learned at TMS. “It’s good to be on time,” is a key learning Parker takes with him as he enters high school.
Teagan Holmes found the presentation experience to be emotional. “Good emotional,” is how she felt about her time in front of a group as she remembered her TMS days. She liked seeing her friends give their presentations and seeing how they all have changed.
Rector said each student amasses a file of material that helps create their finale and, after the presentations are done, the folder comes back to her empty. She feels this is symbolic, like moving the tassel on the mortar board at the end of a graduation ceremony.