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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: • one-on-one instruction is invaluable…be sure to sit with each child and give individual attention as often as possible
    • teens don’t always make the best decisions, so make sure you are constantly aware of what is going on in the class
    • use of apple products like iPads, iPhones, and iPods can greatly increase the effectiveness of your teaching
    • make sure all cell phones are in lockers at all times
    • reward students for good behavior
    • maintain contact with parents
    • pre-assess, regularly assess, post-assess
    • don’t spend so much time grading that you don’t get to plan
    • make sure your grades are in on time
    • don’t take too long to grade a paper
    • give constructive feedback, putting a grade at the top of the paper doesn’t help at all
    • don’t grade everything
    • make sure students be held accountable for their work
    • instill responsibility
    • if a child does not do well on a quiz or test, or does not complete his homework, give him a 50…not a 0
    • don’t use red pen to grade; it may hurt their feelings
    • allow students to write in any color they wish; it has been proven to enhance creativity
    • she has preferential seating: close to the board
    • he has preferential seating: in the back of the class
    • he has preferential seating: you must be able to pull up beside him quickly, easily, and without much distraction to help
    • she has preferential seating: not under a florescent light
    • he needs word banks
    • she needs a modified test with different questions
    • he is clinically depressed
    • she is a cutter
    • he has suicidal tendencies
    • they have bulimia
    • his mom passed away
    • her dad is in jail
    • he needs extended time to take tests
    • she only does ten minutes of homework per night
    • you’ll have to spend at least one hour every night grading and planning
    • you’ll probably have to spend at least four hours every weekend grading and preparing
    • you don’t get paid too little because you get summers off

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