Degrees and Certifications:

B.S. Degree in Elementary Education Masters Degree in Educational Leadership *Endorsement in Early Childhood education. * Emphasis in... 1. Anthropology 2. Sociology 3. Criminology

Mr. Stearns

Curriculum Night Information

2019-2020 Curriculum Night Packet (click here)






Why NO extra credit?

It covers up mistakes and mistakes are at the heart of learning... I prefer to look at this from a slightly different perspective... Instead of "extra credit" after the fact... why not allow students to choose the "degree of difficulty" of their work at the start of the unit?

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My name is Jim Stearns.  I started teaching at Birmingham Public Schools in the fall of 1987.  My first assignment was teaching first grade at Meadow Lake Elementary School.  I moved to West Maple Elementary School after my elementary school consolidated with another fantastic elementary school to form "West Maple".  After teaching first, fifth, and fourth grade at West Maple Elementary, I moved to sixth grade Social Studies/Language Arts at Berkshire Middle School.

I believe in students discovering their learning style, taking leaps of faith, and owning one's learning.  As a teacher and parent of "grown" children, I know how important and cost-effective it is to nurture this "mindset" in children.

My favorite teacher was Sue Barthold and she inspired me to share "ownership" with my students, trust them with the freedom to make choices, and live with their results... This is truly the essence of meaningful learning; "owning it..."




Best Contact Information:








2. Sign Up for the most appropriate conference under our SIGNUP GENIUS section of this website.  I have adjusted these hours to better fit your needs... Thank you Mr. S. for the advice.  As always, morning meetings are all about the STUDENT.  So, make sure the student is present at these meetings.  Ideally, they sign up for the meeting and run it... We will train them... Our mutual goal... all egos aside... is the STUDENT and his/her LEARNING. Period.


3. I do not utilize Google classrooms at this time...  All work is expected to be turned into the teacher directly.  This allows us the opportunity to look into each other's eyes... 

  • I am looking forward to working with you this year!

     Social Studies

    Room 214

    Mr. Stearns


    I trust you all had a wonderful summer… I know I certainly did… Now for my favorite time of the year… meeting YOU!

    I will work with you this year in the area of social studies; ancient history and world religions.  Another key part of our class is learning strategies on how to be a successful middle school student.

    Everything really boils down to one thing… are we all OWNING your responsibilities… Good luck.  I can’t wait to see you… Should you need me to help you work with your parents on understanding your job or even if you just need some support… sign up on our class page for a morning conference on our SIGN UP GENIUS page on our Fusion Class Page.

    Oh, it is fine to be nervous.  I have taught for well over thirty years and I still get nervous…

    I am sure that I won’t get much sleep this weekend…  

    Best Regards,

    Mr. Stearns



     ice cream