Carbondale New School

Serving Southern Illinois since 1974

The mind is a fire to be kindled, not a vessel to be filled

Grades 4-8

According to a new study published in the American Educational Research Journal, sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders are bullied less, don't fight as much and do better in school when they attend K–8 schools than when they attend traditional 6–8 middle schools or 6–12 schools. They also tend to feel safer and more like they belong in K–8 schools... .

--Heather Finn, Traditional Middle Schools Could Actually Be Hurting Your Kids

About Carla

Carla Watts With twenty-plus years of teaching experience, Carla Watts is our 4 through 8th-grade teacher. Carla is certified to teach Kindergarten-9th grade in Illinois and Prek-12th in California. She has endorsements in several subject areas including cross-cultural education, middle school education and several upper-level subjects. She has 42 hours of graduate credit in education and special education. Carla has been a presenter at math and science conferences in Southern Illinois. Carla has been in Who's Who for American Teachers several times. In regards to this honor she says, "I particularly value this, because you have to be nominated by students who have been recognized for outstanding achievement." Carla also appreciates the fact that her students know she is their teacher for life and keep in touch long after they leave New School. Carla has extensive 'real world' experience outside the academic community, and she feels this gives what she teaches her kids (also known as her students) more depth and value. Carla uses Love and Logic® to manage her classroom, just as all the CNS teachers do. She is also a certified instructor in the Love and Logic® 9 Essential Skills for the Love and Logic Classroom. Carla is a 2016 semi-finalist for the 2016 Escallante-Gradillas Prize for Best in Education.

Carla's Philosophy of Teaching

Classroom Every child can learn, and as a teacher, I discover how they learn best and motivate them to do that. To do that, I build a relationship with each and every student. The most important thing to teach a child is how to think and how to learn so they can be lifelong learners. I encourage my students to question and explore so they can gain the skills necessary to become lifelong learners. I lead my class by example and would not ask students to complete work that I wouldn't do myself. I believe the best way to teach behaviors and values is to model them and abide by all rules we set in the classroom. Most of all, no matter the age of the student, I respect them and treat them how I would want to be treated. I think it is important never to lie to a child.


Email Carla at:

QuantityItem DescriptionFor Use as NeededLabel with Student Name
pens (black or blue only)
1 pkcolored pencils
1zippered pencil pouch (no boxes or cans)
1hand-held pencil sharpener, with closed case for shavings
1large pink or white eraser
1 pkgdry correction tape (e.g. white-out)
1deck of playing cards
2reams printer paper
4college-ruled composition books
1yellow highlighter
4thin dry-erase markers
1Scotch tape
2 pairadult-sized Fiskar scissors
2large boxes of Kleenex (no lotion)
1combination lock for locker
112-inch ruler, with both metric and standard scales
1* clear protractor
1* compass (the type with screws)
1* Scientific Calculator (TI-30 series) or Graphing Calculator (TI-73 or TI-84 series)
1USB 2-4 GB flash/pen drive
1 pairheadphones, for use with netbooks
1sturdy water bottle
1 pairsafety glasses
1mat for P.E.
1 pairgym shoes
1laptop computer for word-processing
1mud/rain boots, or extra clothes
1iPod, for tuning out distractions

Last updated 07/05/2017. Items marked * are for 6, 7, 8 grades only.