Reinventing middle school | delawareonline | The News Journal

Reinventing middle school | delawareonline | The News Journal The attached link and article in todays News Journal is something I am very familiar with as I had three boys recently go through, and my nephew is there now. The Middle school years are the hardest for both parents and students to survive in many cases. My own sons had good days and bad with the good days being more then the bad thankfully. I agree that the right teachers make all the difference, and those are the ones who understand the “tweens”. These students don’t need the elementary style teacher who makes them feel like they can’t use the restroom alone, but they also don’t need the high school “its your problem” style yet. They are as the name “tweens” entails between they two extremes, and they need a teacher that understands thier need for independence yet helps them see their need for help organizing. So following that thought I am of the mind that we don’t force them together in schools with older students (6-12), and we don’t hold them back with an elementary environment (K-8). Middle Schoolers deserve to be given an environment of their own, but the teachers there have to be prepared to work with the hormonal needs of these students.
As to the overall level of education in Delaware I will agree that we are not yet dealing with 21st century education in the state yet, and part of that comes from a system not supporting new teachers who have the new skill sets. We force students to meet a proficiency level beyond where they should be for age, and because someone said we were behind the rest of the world! In one paragraph of the referenced article it states we lose students at 8th grade, and that if these students don’t have the skill set by then they stand a better chance of dropping out. Well in the rest of the world countries focus on the K-8 group because after that they are tested to see if they will even go on to high school. Those students who don’t go on are not “left Behind” those countries realized how important technical education is also, and actually have school devoted to internships/apprenticeships. I am going to leave with a final personal comment, and that is if you want to know what hurt Delaware middle school education it was the dismantaling of a true Vocational technical program for students who don’t want to go to college! These students don’t see an outlet for their future as colleges become harder to afford, and degrees don’t guarentee jobs!

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About Gary M Wolfe

The Author spent 10 years as a member of the Milford Delaware Board Of Education, and is currently seeking the 18th Senatorial seat in the Delaware Legislature.
This entry was posted in Delaware, Education. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Reinventing middle school | delawareonline | The News Journal

  1. Sue says:

    May I draw your attention to an Introduction to Restorative Practices training being held in Baltimore on February 3. http://www.iirp.org/pdf/OneDayConfFliers/1DayConfFllwUp_Baltimore.pdf
    Learn the basic concepts of Restorative Practices and effective strategies for:
    * managing student behavior
    * teaching students to take responsibility for their actions
    * engaging students and their parents in their own behavioral and academic issues
    The use of restorative practices is showing remarkable results in schools in Baltimore, Philadelphia and other areas.

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