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(Re)Discovering Social Emotional Learning

(Re)Discovering Social Emotional Learning

Others are discovering what middle grades educators knew all along.

At a recent national conference, I happened upon several sessions dedicated to Social Emotional Learning (SEL)—a framework that supports self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills,...
Author: Sandy Cameli
Number of views (9756)/Comments (0)/
Looking Back to Move Forward

Looking Back to Move Forward

As I reflect on my 25-year career as a middle level administrator, one of the high points was the creation of an alternative learning environment for a group of seventh grade students. Realizing a growth bubble was...
Author: Robert Ruder
Number of views (13618)/Comments (0)/
Topics: Leadership
The Importance of Classroom Structure

The Importance of Classroom Structure

Don't let anyone fool you. Don't let anyone tell you differently. To create an "inviting, safe, inclusive, and supportive" environment for students, desks matter. I know this fact firsthand, because one day at school...
Author: Dru Tomlin
Number of views (65051)/Comments (0)/

Coaching Teacher Dispositions

Research Summary

We know that educators who "value young adolescents and are prepared to teach them" are a key component to middle level students' success (AMLE, 2010, p. 15). Middle level teachers must have the appropriate knowledge,...
Author: Alicia Wenzel, Jennifer Roberts
Number of views (20737)/Comments (0)/

Creating the Cougar Watch: Learning to be Proactive Against Bullying in Schools

Despite reticence from the central office, strong middle level teacher leaders worked together to develop an effective anti-bullying program that addresses a significant need for safety and inclusion for all middle school students.

This we believe: The school environment is inviting, safe, inclusive, and supportive of all. According to a nationally representative survey conducted by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development...
Author: Robert W. Smith, Kayce Smith
Number of views (11724)/Comments (0)/
Tags: Safety

The Power of Thinking Across Disciplines

On a Wednesday in early February, a group of sixth grade students at Saddle River Day School in New Jersey sat around a small collection of desks arranged like a table. This makeshift table came complete with a...
Author: Joshua Deitch
Number of views (8254)/Comments (0)/
Topics: Teaching
The School Is a Teacher—But What Are the Lessons?

The School Is a Teacher—But What Are the Lessons?

We want students to remember the positive lessons we teach.

Middle grades educators spend almost all their time and energy dealing with what is taught, the content that is presented in classrooms and courses. This is understandable, given the great attention placed on...
Author: John H. Lounsbury
Number of views (11333)/Comments (6)/
Tags:
7 Tips from 7 of the Best

7 Tips from 7 of the Best

Seven pieces of advice from seven high-performing teachers.

The seven highest-performing teachers at our school spent time reflecting about their experiences and the lessons they learned during the past year. Their reflections are compiled here into several tips for more...
Author: James Davis
Number of views (11865)/Comments (1)/
Topics: Teaching
Growth Buddies: Priceless Professional Development

Growth Buddies: Priceless Professional Development

Having a colleague who serves as a sounding board and a support system is a valuable part of professional development.

It all started when… Michele: "It all started because my last hour French students were driving me crazy. Becky was teaching in an eighth grade English classroom kitty-corner from mine, and I wandered in. I...
Author: Rebecca Kordatzky, Michele Lapean-Usher
Number of views (15599)/Comments (0)/
How I Got Multiple Tickets during My First Month Teaching 8th Grade

How I Got Multiple Tickets during My First Month Teaching 8th Grade

It should be part of an official middle school teacher evaluation form: "Effectively breaks rules and bends conventions for the instructional goodness of his/her students." Indeed, one of the most underreported...
Author: Dru Tomlin
Number of views (18323)/Comments (0)/
Topics: Teaching
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