March is Middle Level Education Month
We know that young adolescents are special. And that’s why the month of March is devoted to celebrating the wonderful things that happen each and every day in middle level education. This year, our theme is courage and conviction, drawing inspiration from one of AMLE’s founders and the conscience of the middle school movement, Dr. John H. Lounsbury who wrote:
“If we are to build the real middle level school, the school that is developmentally responsive and intellectually vigorous, it will take convictions and the courage to carry them out.”
Why Middle Level Education Month?
Did you know that 10-15 year-olds are experiencing the most rapid, significant changes of their lives other than from birth to age 3? They are developing physically, socially, emotionally, and cognitively as they discover new vistas, form relationships with peers and adults, and explore their developing identity. As educators and parents, we have the tremendous opportunity to help support them as they form the attitudes, values, and dispositions that will form who they become as adults. The research tells us that young adolescents thrive when they are provided with learning environments that are:
Using the distinctive nature and identities of young adolescents as the foundation upon which all decisions about school are made.
Cultivating high expectations and advancing learning for every member of the school community.
Facilitating environments in which students take responsibility for their own learning and contribute positively to the world around them.
Providing socially just learning opportunities and environments for every student.
Fostering a learning atmosphere that is relevant, participatory, and motivating for all learners.
Help us celebrate these amazing young people during Middle Level Education Month #MLEM! Here are just a few ways to get involved:
Know the Talking Points
Middle Level Education Month is an opportunity to collectively share what makes young adolescents great. Here are the top three take aways:
- The scope and speed of human development in early adolescence is second only to the period from birth to age three. These years represent the greatest inflection point and opportunity to develop young people as critical thinkers and leaders.
- Young adolescents have so much to offer our communities. They are looking for a place to belong and, when the opportunities are present, are capable of making significant contributions to our communities. Tap into their energy and leadership potential!
- For our students to be academically and personally successful, a supportive environment both at home and at school is required. Our communities must work together to support our young adolescents!
AMLE has provided resources you can use in your classroom and on social media to raise awareness of the importance of middle level education and young adolescent students.
Be sure to use #MLEM in your posts and follow AMLE on Twitter and Facebook to participate in activities throughout the month. And share your own positive stories about your school/students/children that highlight what makes the middle grades so special. You can also request Middle School Strong laptop stickers for your team by emailing email@example.com and we’ll mail them to members free of charge.
Take the Pledge
Share your convictions! Let your students know you that you have proudly dedicated yourself to being an active advocate for all young adolescents. Take the “This I Believe” pledge and post it in you classroom.
Be an Advocate
Be a courageous advocate for middle level education and young adolescents! We know that educators advocate for young adolescents just by showing up for them each and every day in their schools. Take #MLEM as an opportunity to ensure that every student in your school has a trusted adult advocate who helps guide their academic and personal development. Want to expand beyond your classroom walls? Engage your district and city leadership by telling the story of your school and what makes your students special. Help your community understand what an asset your students can be.
Expand and Share your Middle Level Education Knowledge
We know that middle level educators are lifelong learners. Take this month as an opportunity to learn something new about the middle grades. Here are just a few ways to get started:
- Read a new article about middle level education. You can get started with Middle School Journal, Research in Middle Level Education Online, or AMLE.org. Share what you learned on social media or with a colleague.
- Explore the essential attributes and characteristics of successful middle grades schools.
- Lead a book study of The Successful Middle School: This We Believe at your school.
- Educate your parents on what makes these year so special for their children and offer tips on how they can support them. Need some back-up? Check out our Middle School Walk & Talk podcast or our H.E.L.P. brochure on how to enjoy living with a preadolescent for parents.
- Host an activity at your school that celebrates middle level education! Encourage your students to be actively involved and provide opportunities for them to share their voices and experiences as young adolescents.
Are you doing something amazing at your school to celebrate MLEM? We want to hear from you! Email firstname.lastname@example.org to share and potentially be featured on AMLE.org and our social media channels.