Members of the TMS communications class pictured on the bulletin board.


Communication is a fairly standard practice, but you’d be surprised how much there is to learn when it comes to communicating. At Telstar Middle School, the 8th grade students take a communication class for one trimester, and for good reason! The class is taught by Mrs. Mastroianni, the School Counselor, and Mrs. Luetje, the Dean of Students.

The class helps to hone communication skills for students when it comes to interacting with their teachers, peers, and even community members! Some of the ways that students are learning to communicate is through emails, phone calls, local newspapers, videos, bulletin boards and more! The class has been broken into different project groups so that they can communicate their assignment to a particular group.

One group of students work together to write a weekly article for the Bethel Citizen, like this one. The articles highlight different events, projects, or exciting happenings that are going on in the MIddle School. Another group makes outreach phone calls to community members to improve their conversational and listening skills. Phone calls can last anywhere from fifteen to thirty minutes. The topics include different questions that help students get to know the person on the other end of the phone and, at the same time, improve their communication!

We also have a group called the “Rebel Review”. The organizers interview classmates to find out their interests, and then create a slideshow around some of those topics to be shared during their middle of the day RAP time. They have been creative with computer programs such as Kahoot and Gimkit.

Another group of students decided that we needed to not only recognize students of the month, but a teacher of the month as well. This project involves two students who created a grade level teacher recognition. They communicate with the students by grade levels through email so that they can vote on the teacher they believe deserves the honor. They then write up a speech to announce the grade level winning teacher at the end of the month Star Assembly.

Speaking of Star Assemblies, other students in the class have worked specifically with Ms. Luetje to plan the monthly Star Assemblies. They assist her by helping with the themes, making announcements, slide shows, and more.

Lastly, the class has a group that has made a bulletin board called, “Person Behind The Mask”.  Here, different students are asked a series of questions in an interview format, and their photo is taken without their mask on. The project managers then organize the photos and answers to the questions creatively on the middle school hallway bulletin board.

As the trimester winds down, students agree that their communication skill have definitely improved by participating in Mrs. Luetje and Mrs. Mastroianni’s Communication class.  Whether it has been through email, connections through games, community outreach phone calls, interviews, presentations, or writing articles in the local paper, like this one, everyone has had an opportunity to communicate. They have done so by listening, taking note of body language, taking in information and reporting out. They have all learned the importance of empathy, and respect of their peers, teachers and community members through the process.

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