What We Teach
Inspired by educational research, VVMS strives to use Culturally Responsive Teaching. Zaretta Hammond (2015) defines this as: "Using relationship and social emotional learning to create a safe space for students," and "Using knowledge of students’ culture as a scaffold to teach new concepts through techniques that promote rigorous learning." Our teachers are working to create engaging, rigorous, and relevant curriculum. In the classroom, students are moving, talking with their partners, and making connections between their content and their lives.
Michael Whooley, 8th Grade History Teacher works hard to make his content culturally responsive. Students are learning about the socio-political context during the Colonial era in the United States. Students are exploring concepts of white oppression and black liberation, as well as the treatment of women during history. In addition, Mr. Whooley leads his students in gallery walks, table conversations, and interactive simulations. Students discuss the validity of the "American Dream," and how far we have come. Students are making connections between the injustices in their lives with the injustices experienced by american colonists.