Mr. Morton & Mrs. Wulfenstein: Their Views on the School

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Isabelle Marx

At our school, there are things that are a joy, and some things, well, not so much. People at our school have different viewpoints and it is good to know what they are.

 

Mr. Morton

Temecula Middle School Principal

What is your favorite part of your job?

“My favorite part about this job is being around teachers and students, so I like it when I can visit classrooms. That’s my favorite. My second favorite is being out at lunch and after school and before school and break just, you know around all of the 6th, 7th, and 8th graders.”

What could the school improve on?

“Well, the number one thing that I’m working on right now is having a clean campus. For our second lunch, students are doing a pretty good job with keeping the lunch area, you know, clean, but there is so much trash over the course of the day that we accumulate. There is so much plastic. There are so many things that are bad for the environment and there are so many things going into the storm drains, so I think that it is a huge area of concern. Right now, I just have 4 cleaning teams that work during PRIDE classes that help me work on some areas and the students are doing a good job at keeping clean by themselves. So one area students could really improve on is picking up their trash and making sure that their friends pick up their trash so they’re not forgetting and leave plastic lying to go into our storm drain.”

So do you think that students here have done a good job at cleaning up after themselves?

“No, no. I think there are pockets. I think after the break, we’re OK, after 1st lunch, we’re a disaster, after 2nd lunch, it’s a little better because there are some kids who are helping us clean up. We have a lot of adults out there cleaning up, but no. Campus cleanliness is an issue I’m seeing gum on the ground, so my message to students is to do a little better. The way I always think of it is you should always try to leave somewhere better than you found it. So you might sit down at a table and there is a few pieces of trash, you go pick up all of yours, but I always think no, let’s leave it better than I found it and I’ll pick up the trash on the table.”

What have you noticed that’s changed in a good way since the beginning of the school year?

“There are a lot of things. Number one: I would say our students are behaving really well. We are trying to come up with students who behave well like these fun Fridays. We had an 8th-grade fun Friday, and we’re having a 7th-grade fun Friday this week, just because we’re really happy with the way our students are behaving in class. I have more. I would say one of the coolest things about this year is it feels like during covid era, you know, over the past few years, our teachers became a lot at using technology better and engaging in interesting ways. And so when I go to classrooms, I see better apps, I see students doing better on their assignments because the technology is actually supporting learning. In the past, we always felt like we did technology, we had computers, and we just used them for the sake of using them, but it really feels like in the covid era a lot of the apps have improved, which is causing students to be able to do better in their classes.”

What is your favorite thing about the students so far?

“So I would say that this year we are doing excellent in the classroom, we are doing excellent as far as behavior and not getting into big problems. Course, we always have one or two students who end up in the office once in a while but by and large,  most of our students are doing a good job following our school rules. What I hope is that moving forward we can start having more school events where you can come and participate, especially if they have followed the rules and not gotten any discipline points.”

How do you see these students at the end of the school year?

“I think it is a term of three years. So, I look at our 8th graders and I remember them when they were 6th graders even though a lot of them were virtual online. But I always want to see our 8th graders ready for high school. I know our 7th graders are going through their own thing, 6th graders are just, especially at this point, getting used to middle school and learning the way we do things, but it is a three-year journey and our 8th graders always do an amazing job of getting their act together and getting ready for high school and all the challenges in front of them.”

How do you feel about the 8th grade class since they started online the first year of middle school?

“It’s interesting now when normally I spend a lot of time in 6th-grade classrooms, getting to know faces and getting to know names, getting to get the feel for the way a class interacts and the way it’s put together and we didn’t get to do that with that class. The second thing that is really unusual about 8th graders is that there are so few of them. When I got to this school, it was really common to have 400 students in the class. There are only about 260 of our 8th graders, so it’s a small class. But I’ve gotten to know them quite a bit, they’re a great class, and they’re going to be prepared for high school. They are going to do wonderful things in their life.”

 

Mrs. Wulfenstein

Temecula Middle School Vice Principal

What is your favorite part of your job?

“I love working with students and families.”

What could the school improve on?

“I think that we can take a little better care of our campus with regard to trash. Sometimes people leave large amounts of trash around and don’t take care of the trash like they should.”

So do you think that students here have done a good job at cleaning up after themselves?

“Some do a great job, but then others don’t, not so much. So, it kinda depends on the day and the type of students. Sometimes students get distracted and they forget that their area needs to be taken care of and kept clean.”

What have you noticed that’s changed in a good way since the beginning of the school year?

“I’ve seen a lot of people develop really meaningful relationships that they didn’t have at the beginning of the year and I love that.”

What is your favorite thing about the students so far?

“I love students with a sense of humor. Because sometimes life is just funny and you got to  enjoy life and always have a smile and find the joy.”

How do you see these students at the end of the school year?

“Usually students at the end of the year are mature, they are ready to go onto the next step whether it’s high school or go to the next grade and they’re usually really good. I think about what they have accomplished academically this school year and they’re usually looking forward to summer and a little bit of well-deserved time off.”

How do you feel about the 8th grade class since they started online the first year of middle school?

“They’ve done really well. In fact, they’re a really impressive group. They have really bounced back, I think more than some of the other grade levels, and the 8th graders have been really resilient and I’m proud of the 8th graders for that.”

 

What do you think? What’s your favorite thing about our school? Tell us in the comments!