Confessions of a former middle school principal.
As a life-long middle school advocate, I have always known and valued my students as their teacher and school leader, but recently I became a middle school mom. As a parent, many of my beliefs about doing what is right for middle school children have been affirmed, and I have gained wisdom by seeing the situation from a parent’s perspectives. Here are some of the lessons learned or affirmed by a middle school mom.
- Bless teachers who let a middle school child snack in third block.
- Middle schoolers would never survive as carrier pigeons. Parents need real communication.
- Teaming matters. Significantly. Its absence is detrimental to students and to teachers.
- Check the homework balance—eight classes are a lot.
- Wise teachers of advanced classes realize that while the content is high school mature, the learners are not.
- He can analyze an assignment at length, be energized by it, complete it, walk into your classroom, and still forget to submit it to you. Gah! Teacher forgiveness is a welcome gift.
- Suddenly, study hall sounds like a great idea.
- School-wide behavioral and academic expectations feed a whole-school culture.
- Young adolescents seriously need outdoor activity, sun, and fresh air.
- Middle schoolers really do need to connect with at least one teacher. It’s not just rhetoric. And parents are grateful when they recognize that a teacher knows and likes their child.
- Our children are learning how not to be the bully or the bullied. Socially, it’s a tightrope walk for kids every day. Talk to them about the higher road and keep a keen eye on things.
- Middle schoolers may appear silly and unruffled at school, but heartbreaking stress lies right under the surface.
- It is remarkably difficult to transition from the “physical parent” (keep them safe, fed, and clean) to the “emotional parent.”
- Talk less—listen more.
- Young adolescents can achieve their fun, crazy dreams.
- Channel the funny and punny sense of humor, but please don’t squash it. The latest: “I’d tell you a chemistry joke, but I wouldn’t get a reaction.”