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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 (15510)/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 (9882)/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 (12309)/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 (13799)/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 (17766)/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 (20610)/Comments (0)/
Topics: Teaching

Rethinking Field Trips

Field trips used to be a common and highly anticipated part of the middle grades experience: young adolescents, bleary eyed, climbing on the bus with iPods and handheld games. It wasn't so much where they were...
Author: AMLE
Number of views (10980)/Comments (0)/
Topics: Teaching
The Day a Seventh Grader Gave Me the Bird

The Day a Seventh Grader Gave Me the Bird

I'll never forget the time a seventh grader gave me the bird. When I caught him and the gesture, it changed me as a middle school teacher. And somehow it reminded me of the middle school characteristic that states,...
Author: Dru Tomlin
Number of views (21324)/Comments (0)/
Topics: Inspiration

Patient and Tenacious Teaching

In the race to complete reports that prove the immediate value-added measures of our teaching, we’ve lost sight of one of the most powerful teaching tools we have: patience. Teacher patience is the heart of...
Author: Rick Wormeli
Number of views (32146)/Comments (1)/
Looping—Making a Case for a Best Practice

Looping—Making a Case for a Best Practice

Schools that don't loop should consider the benefits of this proven practice.

Sensible, supported by research and practice, and doable. Looping is one practice that all middle schools should consider given its many benefits, including long-term student-teacher relationships that have proven...
Author: John H. Lounsbury & Gayle Andrews
Number of views (18071)/Comments (2)/
Tags: Looping
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