January 2021 Administrative Update
Middle School Principal
Like many families, a puppy was recently added to the Brown family household. When deciding what to name her, we focused on finding a meaningful name that reminded us of the strength we needed to endure in 2020. Ultimately, we decided on the name ‘Mamba’. Mamba came from the ‘Mamba Mentality’ developed by the late Kobe Bryant. ‘Mamba Mentality’ is intentionally playing/living without fear, mastering your craft and desiring not only to be the best you can, but to dominate it. It’s about having mental strength and intense focus towards being better tomorrow than you are today.
While our focus at EAMS is not specifically described as the ‘Mamba Mentality’, it is a driving force in what we seek to instill in our students. Following are a few examples of how we approach each aspect of the ‘Mamba Mentality’ at EAMS.
Playing/Living Without Fear
Rather than living without fear, we focus on learning without fear. Our teachers work diligently to provide opportunities for students to learn from their mistakes. One example of this is in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math). Our focus is to provide students with sufficient background information and then let them explore. Many times students fail at their first attempt. This is an important part of the learning process. Our teachers challenge students to go back to the drawing board, make adjustments, and try again. This helps to create the ‘learning without fear’ mentality. It’s OK to fail at an attempt. It’s more important what you do to correct your mistakes. Our students have become increasingly comfortable taking on new challenges and increasing innovation.
Mastering Your Craft and Being the Best You Can Be
Our teachers work to instill this in our students. Every student (and adult) has different strengths and weaknesses. We focus on encouraging students to fill their ‘tool box’ with strategies such as organization, communication, time management, etc. We believe that the MS is the perfect place to lay the foundation for fostering these lifelong skills.
Mental Health is a focus in EA Schools. This year, the MS welcomed the addition of a social worker to our Counseling Center. Our counselor, psychologist, social worker, and comfort dogs are always available to assist students and provide them with strategies and communication support to help increase mental health and strength. Additionally, our teachers are scheduled to begin training on Trauma Informed Instruction beginning after the new year.
Being Better Tomorrow Than You are Today
EAMS is proud of the leadership opportunities our students have at their fingertips. Last February, our Student Council sent 23 students to the Disney Y.E.S. (Youth Educational Series) Leadership class at Disney World. The team building skills these students developed will be with them forever. We also provide every 8th grade student the opportunity to participate in our LEAP (Leadership, Empowerment, Achievement, Passion) program. This program encourages students to learn and build the ‘soft skills’ they will need in the future while focusing on their own ‘Passion Project’
I am proud of our students, their families, and the EAMS faculty/staff for embracing the ‘Mamba Mentality’ (without even realizing it) over the past several months. Students have expanded their ability to take ownership of their learning, communicate and pose questions to teachers in a nontraditional format, and develop the resilience they will need for the future. Families of our students have continued to remain supportive and flexible. Our teachers have worked countless hours to develop new instructional pedagogy and a plethora of strategies for creating connections with students. I challenge you to reflect on the values of the ‘Mamba Mentality' and identify how they apply to your everyday life, your family and your community.