Ms. Newell is the primary Middle School teacher at our Round Rock campus. She will be teaching several courses this year: Public Discourse, Genre Writing, Servant Leadership, and Problem-Solving.

Problem-Solving

Being a creative problem-solver involves being able to think both big picture and small picture while examining all the parts of the system. There are systems everywhere! In our families, school, and society. For the Fall semester, we will start small: pick a “problem” in your life you’d like to solve. This could be keeping your room clean, wanting to grow bigger muscles, wanting to have a better relationship with a friend or family member. We will learn to break this problem down into manageable steps that include accountability and follow through. In the Spring semester, we will pick a bigger picture problem. This could be something like local crime, global warming, road rage, deforestation, etc. The students will vote on the problem to solve and then work in teams (another problem we often have to work through in the real world!) to examine the system that’s created the problem and to find a creative solution to the chosen problem.

Servant Leadership

Part of maturing into a healthy adult is learning that being in charge is only a good thing if we are able to lead well through our own example of being a compassionate servant towards others. In this course we will examine leaders throughout history, including Jesus, who led through a compassionate, servant’s heart.

Public Discourse

In the world of communication, there are many different types of discourse. However, discourse can often be broken down into four main categories: argument, narration, description, and exposition. In this course we will work through all four of these approaches, working as a class to improve our writing, speaking, and debate skills.

Genre-Writing

Becoming a good writer takes practice and writing can sometimes become dull when it feels like you’re just producing work that doesn’t matter to you personally. To avoid these doldrums, this year our writing course is going to get a little more creative! Instead of focusing on more academically-focused writing, we are going to focus on more creative writing. We will cover a variety of genres including: historical fiction, poetry, science fiction, and mystery.