Ok, perhaps the question should be - What should a middle school look like?
Well, this is what we know about middle school age students - they are in a transition from childhood to adolescence. Although adolescence is often characterized by increased independence and a desire for knowledge and exploration, it is also a time when brain changes can result in high-risk behaviors, addiction vulnerability, and mental illness, as different parts of the brain mature at different rates. It is also in middle years that life skills, and children's role as a citizen and community member, indeed their place in the human family becomes important. Finally, it is a time when they develop their self image and hone their learning skills.
So, based upon these characteristics of middle years students what should a good middle school look like?
- Students will also be offered choices and variety in learning experiences (in and out of school)
- Leadership opportunities will be offered to students in and out of the classroom
- Programming in the Arts will be evident.
- Finally, programming that enables students to make positive life choices in the following areas will be present:
~ Decision Making
~ Conflict Resolution
~ Drug/Alcohol Awareness
~ Healthy and active lifestyles