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Is Middle School an Effective Educational Entity?

I came across a very interesting teacher's perspective on the middle school recently. After reading it, I realized that one inherent issue with middle school is that it has always and still does lack definition. Yes, one could argue that it is defined by its title...a "middle school" that is between elementary and high school. However, is it treated as such? Not in many districts. Should the middle school follow a curriculum and structure of its own? Are tweens a group of their own? I think so. I think the middle school needs to be examined very carefully. I feel that the majority of high-school drop outs don't wait until high school to fall behind, give up, and drop out. At the same time, most fifth graders are still trying hard, trying to please their teachers, parents, etc.

The document that I found that made me start to consider this issue is available upon request. There are undeniable issues with what teachers are being asked to do in Middle Schools across the nation. I think the time has come to look more closely at those who have for so long been neglected.

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  • Jan 14 2013: • display student work
    • make sure student work does not include a picture and name…only one or the other
    • know which students play which sports…maintain contact with the coach
    • plan team activities
    • only show movies that have educational value
    • make school an enjoyable place to be
    • save on the H drive
    • that document is on the Q drive
    • students can use the dropbox on the O drive
    • fill out a blue form if you need something fixed
    • if you need reimbursement, fill out a yellow form
    • plan your lesson ahead of time
    • when the copy machine breaks down, figure out a new plan in time for class
    • when the internet goes down, figure out a new plan
    • sometimes organized chaos means students are learning
    • reading partners should be able to discuss the book as they read
    • they need absolute silence to read carefully
    • gum chewing helps with ADD
    • don’t allow students to chew gum in school
    • reward children for good behavior
    • don’t give out candy
    • set your expectations for your students high
    • don’t discourage students by setting your expectations too high
    • be sure every child feels he or she can accomplish the goal set by you for the class
    • enrich the students who need it
    • remediate the students who need it
    • she has a peanut allergy
    • he has an epi-pen in case he gets stung by a bee
    • she has severe dyslexia
    • he needs to listen to the book on audio
    • he needs to use his computer instead of handwriting
    • don’t rely too heavily on technology because it is unreliable
    • incorporate technology into your class more
    • they are only on a fourth grade reading level in eighth grade
    • they can read and interpret texts on a 12th grade reading level in eighth grade
    • use small group instruction to differentiate
    • she has Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome, so make sure his quizzes and tests are copied on colored paper
    • don’t single a student out
    • she has a hearing impairment, so make sure your back is never to her and she can always see your lips
    • circulate around the room

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