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Efficient vs. Effective Environments: Testing the Testing Environment

Efficient vs. Effective Environments: Testing the Testing Environment

Where students take a test can make a difference in their ability to perform

"I didn't do very well in the library, I was distracted," one of my sixth grade students told me a few days after completing a math progress monitoring test in the school library. An uncomfortable testing environment...
Author: Katie Houdek
Number of views (3564)/Comments (2)/
Topics: Assessment
Leading Your Own Learning through Personal Learning Networks

Leading Your Own Learning through Personal Learning Networks

As an educator, you feel each day the endless demands of your time, attention, and effort. And in the midst of all that is required of you for your students, parents, and others, you still need to find the time to...
Author: Ryan M. Rich
Number of views (2541)/Comments (0)/
10 Life Lessons from a Principal Who Led a Middle School for Four Decades

10 Life Lessons from a Principal Who Led a Middle School for Four Decades

Michael Gordon ran a middle school for 40 years. That's right, four DECADES. As principal, he got tough kids to soften and overprotective parents to loosen their grip. Under his watch, troublemakers fell into line and...
Author: Phyllis Fagell
Number of views (3266)/Comments (2)/
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Dealing with Stress

Dealing with Stress

Insights from and for principals

Exemplary middle schools focus on health and wellness. While this focus may be primarily on our students' wellness, we also need to focus on the wellness of our faculty and administrators. It is a fact that, as...
Author: Nancy Ruppert
Number of views (2711)/Comments (0)/
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What to Do When a Parent Is Incarcerated

What to Do When a Parent Is Incarcerated

New information helps educators understand how to work with students

In the August 2011 issue of Middle Ground, I encouraged teachers to be proactive with students whose parents are in jail or prison. I provided a brief overview of the perceived academic disadvantages for children of...
Author: Megan Sullivan
Number of views (3383)/Comments (2)/
Tags: Guidance
Ten Mindfulness Strategies for Educators

Ten Mindfulness Strategies for Educators

Helping you achieve work-life balance

Last September, Eva waited impatiently at the copier, her blood pressure rising as she realized she would be late for class yet again. She could barely make eye contact with her colleagues, her aggravation impeding...
Author: Rebecca Best, Phyllis L. Fagell
Number of views (10138)/Comments (0)/
Topics: Teaching
Awards Honor the Middle Level Heritage

Awards Honor the Middle Level Heritage

Awards given by the Association for Middle Level Education (AMLE) include the John H. Lounsbury Distinguished Service Award and the Educator of the Year (formerly the Distinguished Educator Award). Conversation about...
Author: Pamela Millikan
Number of views (1879)/Comments (0)/
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In Pursuit of the Balanced Life

In Pursuit of the Balanced Life

It's all about the choices you make

What do Bigfoot, the Loch Ness monster, and work-life balance have in common? All three are elusive. All three have been the subject of many articles. Finally, many authors don't believe any of the three...
Author: Frank Buck
Number of views (4911)/Comments (0)/
MythBusters: Teacher Leader Edition

MythBusters: Teacher Leader Edition

Advocating for this important role in education

Myths come in all shapes and sizes, from UFOs in Roswell and Elvis in Vegas, to whether a tomato belongs in the fruit or vegetable section of a market. Yet, most unexplained phenomena are straightforward; you either...
Author: Sandy Cameli
Number of views (4586)/Comments (0)/
No More Fears and Tears: Transitioning to Middle School

No More Fears and Tears: Transitioning to Middle School

Building a multifaceted plan makes the difference

"I'm nervous about forgetting my locker combination." "I'm worried about getting lost." "I'm nervous about keeping track of my schedule and having more homework." "What if my child no longer hugs me as she steps off...
Author: Jennifer Smith
Number of views (5099)/Comments (0)/
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