Academic journal article Middle School Journal

Letter from the President

Academic journal article Middle School Journal

Letter from the President

Article excerpt

Middle level educators know the importance of reaching out to their students and making connections with their colleagues in the learning community. Letting students know you care and collaborating with each other are at the heart of the "humanness" of middle level schools.

We all understand the critical nature of connecting with students, which can be accomplished in a variety of ways and extends far beyond knowing students' names and where they sit in a classroom. It certainly goes deeper than the sincere praise and acknowledgement that is given to each student in the classroom or in the hall. While these modes of connecting are beginning steps, I would like to suggest additional avenues.

Students appreciate honesty and heartfelt respect. They want to be acknowledged for their uniqueness; therefore, it is important to spend time talking to individual students to assist them in understanding their academic profiles and help them set achievement goals. Periodic review of these goals, accompanied by remediation or enrichment, ensures student accountability and enhances connection to the importance of the task.

Showing an interest in students' outside activities or encouraging their participation in opportunities to make contributions, speaks volumes to students. Supporting a student by attending a school event has proven to be a solid means of showing interest and making a connection. Yet, it is important to monitor the extracurricular participation of all students and assist those who need help finding the right club or activity to fit their particular Interests or skills.

Collaborating with colleagues to discuss student data and develop strategies to promote student success is another vital connection piece. Middle level educators form professional learning communities to regularly connect students' academic needs to Instructional strategies. …

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