Dear Val Vista Middle School Parents and Students:
Hello! Welcome to middle school! We are very excited you have chosen to join us at Val Vista Academy this year. We as a team will continue to provide both a nurturing and academically challenging environment.
My name is Tom Pasinski and I am excited to be a part of the Val Vista Academy team. I started teaching in 1998. Wow how time flies when you’re having fun! I’ll be teaching middle school social studies and English Language Arts this year. I have a BA in Political Science from the University of Arizona, and a BA and MA in Education from the University of Phoenix.
Although social studies is often considered a boring class, that’s not what students should expect! I like to have lively class discussions, group projects, presentations, debates, mock trials, and maybe even some dress ups! Be prepared for some challenging, interesting work (and maybe even some fun!) In Language Arts we will read fiction and non-fiction selections that cover all of these topics, in addition to giving speeches, analyzing primary sources, critiquing poetry, acting out some Shakespeare, and creating our own funtastic written short stories!
The sixth grade students can expect to learn about ancient cultures and civilizations. We will start with Ancient Egyptians, move to Chinese and India and the Fertile Crescent, before tackling Greece and Rome. We will end with the Middle Ages and Renaissance.
The 7th and 8th grade students will explore US history, from the first explorers to the Constitution, from the Revolutionary War to the Cold War. We will learn how the US has become the US! In addition, all the classes will have discussions about leadership, maturity, economics, and our role in society. I believe in teaching the whole child, not just one academic subject.
Communication is an important part of the success of our students. I will keep the lines of communication open all year, and encourage you to do the same. Please feel free to contact me anytime, via phone or email. I prefer and encourage email communication, so students and parents can ask me questions any time. I will typically send out a class email once a week listing upcoming events, important dates, and classroom topics and assignments.
I will work diligently to ensure that our students become confident, mature, capable young adults. Thank you for trusting us with your children! I look forward to learning with them all year!
Middle school social studies/ELA