Academic journal article Middle School Journal

Notice Me

Academic journal article Middle School Journal

Notice Me

Article excerpt

Two simple words-notice me-characterize a concept that many of us implicitly and explicitly communicate to our family members, friends, and colleagues. Despite whether or not one identifies as an introvert or extrovert, we often exhibit a desire for others to "notice me, listen to me, and acknowledge me." Technology has provided platforms for this notion, ranging from Facebook to Snapchat to Twitter (where the number of one's followers and thus the size of one's influence is constantly displayed) and beyond.

When we talk or think about ways we notice (or don't notice) particular ideas or people or trends or other phenomena, we open a critical and important dialogue relevant to middle level education. In fact, the opportunity to advocate for affirmation of young adolescents draws and sustains many of us in the profession of middle level education-as it should. And, as we strive to include all young adolescents, our responsibility has an ever increasingly wide range of "notice" as demographics accelerate diverse populations in our schools, neighborhoods, and throughout our country.

Young adolescents bring with them to our classrooms an obvious wide range of encounters and events in terms of the kinds of attention they have experienced and responded to. Developing, nurturing, and sustaining relationships with students as well as among students is imperative to learning about these prior experiences as one way to more deeply understand the essences of the young adolescents with whom we work.

As middle level educators, we often must negotiate conflicting demands and grounds for notice. Our responses grant legitimacy to some, as we attempt to sort out one's intention for being noticed and the implications that result. Inherent within this complex mix of transactions is room for misjudgment as well as teachable moments that have long-lasting impact that are hopefully more positive than negative. …

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