Barbara Jean Petty makes sure Georgia students know all about their home state.
"We do government, Georgia history, culture things. But everything we do is with a focus of Georgia," she says.
All in a day's work in her Georgia Studies class at Riverside Middle School.
"They have to understand how our state got to be where we are now. They have to understand where we're going, and they need to be able to make that connection. Because these are the generations that we're going to depend on later on, and they're going to be making the decisions."
She does it in front of a captive audience. Not the easiest task with busy 8th graders.
"I try to make it as interesting as possible. We are up and down, we're moving around. I incorporate personal stories as much as I can . I relate stories to real things. The Revolutionary War, we made that into a football game."
She also depends on parents to help her get the job done.
Petty tells us,
"Making sure that they do their homework. Just asking them. This is the stage, getting ready to go into high school, 8th grade's big. This is either theyre' going to keep you interested in 8th grade as a parent, or their going to exclude you. If you can establish your relationship now, just say 'Hey how was school today? What'd you do today in Social Studies? What did you do in Math?"
Barbara Jean Petty is doing a great job with her middle school students. They learn a lot and she gets a lot from being a part of their lives.
"Those kids just do something for me and hopefully I add something to their life."