Tuesday, October 25, 2016

News U Can Use: "Understanding Middle Schoolers: 4 Tips"

Understanding those on the verge of or in the trenches of middle school can be like finishing a complex puzzle only to realize there is a single missing piece — just when you think you have them all figured out, they pivot and leave you just as confused as you started. They sometimes feel like a walking contradiction: they want your love, but would prefer you did not show it in public; what makes them laugh one day, brings them to tears the next; going to school used to be the best part of their day, now they dread it. Whatever the contradiction is in your household, it is important to remember that the journey that these soon to be adults are traveling is a difficult yet AWESOME one. They are in a constant state of learning and discovery and as parents and guardians, we GET to be along for the ride!

Combine students’ physical and emotional changes with new school environments and increasing independence, and unique challenges for parents and children develop. Adolescence is a time of development, discovery and transition for kids. It is a key time for us to better understand how we increase motivation, build persistence, support the transition into a more independent experience, and prepare for future success.

As a middle school educator, my mantra was patience and understanding. I had sticky notes around my classroom reminding me that it was my job to support AND also to push these young adults to challenge themselves in new ways—even when they made me want to pull out my hair. This is a time when they need support and guidance, but they also need the freedom to have experiences on their own terms. When it comes to education, middle school is an extremely important time.

When we find ways to personalize the learning experience for students we support their transition into more independence and help activate learning. Here is what I learned about middle schoolers... CONTINUE READING http://www.huffingtonpost.com/smart-parents/understanding-your-middle_b_7866762.html 

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