A Glimpse of Middle School

Middle school can be a difficult time of life for students. They are dealing with a lot! And most of it they don’t completely understand. They’re still kids but want to be adults. They’re immature one minute and wiser than their age the next; they’re forming their own opinions — and have no problem sharing those opinions with others!

So how do we walk alongside these students as they navigate three of the toughest years in school?

Koinonia. A type of house system, Koinonia is the heart of TMA middle school and is central to everything we do. Each Koinonia exists to develop authentic relationships built on trust and respect, to foster personal and social significance, and to accept everyone as individually and uniquely equal.

 
How does it work?

Every middle schooler is assigned to a Koinonia, and each Koinonia has a character quality, a main verse, and a mission statement. They include: Itoito (courage), Katapatan (loyalty), Uzticams (dependability), Dosnumas (generosity), Kala Garan (discernment), Whakawa (justice), Kalipay (joy), and Jimiri (endurance). 

Throughout the year, students will participate in weekly activities such as small groups, athletic competitions, performances, character education, team building activities, and leadership education. It’s within this context our students will learn to deal with heart issues like leadership, self-esteem, conflict resolution, community service, team building, spiritual growth, social skills, and identity.

Our desire is to help make our students’ middle school years a time that they will never forget.  We want to go beyond their academic needs and seek the wellbeing of the whole child — intellectual, social, emotional, physical, and spiritual.  

 

The Koinonias

Itoito
The Maoiri word meaning courage.

Members of the Itoito Koinonia live with courage because they know that the Lord goes with them and will not leave or forsake them (Deuteronomy 31:6).  Those chosen for the Itoito Koinonia stand up for the cause of Christ, protect others when they are weak, encourage those that struggle, and boldly proclaim the gospel of Christ.

 

Katapatan
The Filipino word meaning loyal. 

The Katapatan Koinonia is loyal — true to their God, committed to serving the needs of others, and faithful to bring the gospel to the lost.  Following the example of our Savior, the Katapatan Koinonia is on mission to bring the love to God to the world (John 15:13).

 

Uzticams
The Latvian word meaning dependable.

Dependability is the mark of the Uzticams Koinonia.  Unshakeable in their faith, they are relied upon in times of need, consistent in their faithfulness, and despite the cost, will stand firm in the cause of Christ (Psalm 15).

 

Dosnumas
The Lithuanian word meaning generosity. 

Members of the Dosnumas Koinonia give of themselves generously knowing that Christ gave all for them.  Out of an overflowing heart of gratitude, the Dosnumas Koinonia seeks out opportunities to bless others; glorifying their Savior by sharing the gift of the gospel with the world (2 Corinthians 9:6).

 

Kala Garan
The Somalian word meaning discernment. 

Through godly discernment, the Kala Garan Koinonia looks beyond what the world sees and focuses on the gospel to define their perspective (1 Samuel 16:7).  Through relentless pursuit of the gospel, the Kala Garan Koinonia speaks truth into the lives of others and proclaims the gospel to the world.
Whakawa
The Maori word meaning justice. 

The Whakawa Koinonia believes in justice.  Recognizing the call of God in their lives, the Whakawa Koinonia seeks to do what is right, promoting fairness and compassion with humility and grace (Micah 6:8).

 

Kalipay
The Cebuano word meaning joy.

 Joy shines from the Kalipay Koinonia.  In their relationship with the Savior, the Kalipay Koinonia has found fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11).  Regardless of circumstances, their rejoicing points others to the Savior of eternity.

 

Jimiri
The Hausa word meaning endurance. 

Members of the Jimiri Koinonia exemplify endurance in their faith, consistently following the Savior, steadfast to the end (Galatians 6:9).  Confidence in the promises of God allows the Jimiri Koinonia to bring the truth of the gospel and the peace of Christ to a weary world.

“I want my students to see history as an incredible story of how God works in the lives of people. He is sovereign, and He is moving in our individual lives and in the story of America for His glory and our good.” 
- Nikki Barclay (MS History)