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Middle School

5 Reasons to Start College Planning in Middle School

Todd VanDuzer | Posted 10.06.2015 | Education
Todd VanDuzer

We're not talking about going on college tours, or looking at dorm rooms, or even picking up a brochure. But since your student isn't in high school yet, this is the perfect time to make sure they're headed in the direction of success.

Boy Talk at Recess: Pokemon, Light Sabers, and Things That Go Boom

Heather Wolpert-Gawron | Posted 10.06.2015 | Education
Heather Wolpert-Gawron

As a parent, my heart sank when I got the email at the end of my day. It read, "Re: Son's Bad Choices." It was from my son's classroom teacher and it chronicled my 9-year old's decision to use his parent-led classroom art time to express his recent interest in morbid-talk.

Middle School 2.0: 7 Tween Anxieties that Don't Age

Heather Sweeney | Posted 10.05.2015 | Parents
Heather Sweeney

Middle school was not one of the highlights of my childhood. It was when I was the last of my gal pals to start wearing a bra. It was when the teachers compared me to my genius older brother.

This Is How You Deal With Homophobia In the Classroom

Nathan Manske | Posted 10.02.2015 | Gay Voices
Nathan Manske

Alexa Espinal is 23 years old and had been teaching for only two weeks. But that's all the time needed for Alexa to experience homophobic words from her middle school students.

A Mother's 6 Secrets on Surviving Middle School

Kim Keating | Posted 09.28.2015 | Parents
Kim Keating

I am proud of how kind and loving you are to each other and to your family and friends. As you navigate middle school, I offer you both the following tips to help you avoid some of my mistakes and continue on the path of having a wonderful middle school experience.

When Kids Read Other Kids' Minds: From Preschool to Middle School

Laurie Hollman, Ph.D. | Posted 09.11.2015 | Parents
Laurie Hollman, Ph.D.

Understanding the minds of children and their development is critical for parents who want to unlock their Parental Intelligence.

8th Grade Firsts are Freaking Me Out

Tanya Young Williams | Posted 09.05.2015 | Parents
Tanya Young Williams

My eldest daughter began 8th grade this week and I am already overwhelmed with the possibilities and realities that this year holds. In middle school...

There's No Quitting in Parenthood

Jennifer Cowie King | Posted 08.31.2015 | Parents
Jennifer Cowie King

No, I'm not going to quit today or any other day on you, my precious son. My beautiful boy with the wide blue eyes and impossibly blonde hair. As much as you confound and challenge me, you inspire me.

4 Back-to-School Identity Theft Tips to Keep Kids Safe | Posted 08.28.2015 | Parents

Summer is drawing to a close, which means children across the country will be lacing up new sneakers and sitting down in new desks for the start of another school year. Parents have enough to worry about when sending their young ones out into the world without them, but how much does the average parent know about protecting their child's identity?

Ya Just Have to Love Those Temperamental, Terrific 12-Year-Olds

Laurie Hollman, Ph.D. | Posted 08.28.2015 | Parents
Laurie Hollman, Ph.D.

After being the oldest in elementary school then adjusting to being the youngest in a brand new middle school, finding your way around a bigger place, having many teachers, meeting lots of new kids, finding your body changing, more expectations by parents and teachers -- phew -- who can blame your 12-year-old for feeling vulnerable?

How to Stop Policing Girls and Women

Stephanie Hepburn | Posted 08.24.2015 | Impact
Stephanie Hepburn

Unfortunately, policing of females doesn't diminish as we get older and it trickles into our social lives, our interactions with the general public and at work. Dress codes -- on paper or through verbal expectations -- are an easy way to determine if there is disparate treatment of the genders.

Tips On Changing Middle School Behaviors, Einstein-Style

Jennifer Wolfe | Posted 08.22.2015 | Education
Jennifer Wolfe

Sometimes students are stuck through no real fault of their own - family situations or access to education may have caused them to slip behind. However, it's just good old-fashioned stubbornness, with a dash of insecurity, that results in underachievement. That's where Einstein comes in.

7 Things I Want My Son to Know About Leadership

Chester Goad, Ed.D. | Posted 08.20.2015 | GPS for the Soul
Chester Goad, Ed.D.

Standing in a crowded gym I watched as my teenage son and several of his friends took to the basketball court. He's been playing sports since he was f...

10 Tips to Make Switching Schools Easier

Chester Goad, Ed.D. | Posted 08.10.2015 | Education
Chester Goad, Ed.D.

Changing schools sounds simple, but it almost never is. Parents should carefully consider whether or not switching schools is the most appropriate option. Sometimes it may be best for parents to sacrifice or delay their own new opportunities in order to ensure stability for teens or adolescents, but that's not always possible or realistic.

The Case for Collaboration Days

Heather Wolpert-Gawron | Posted 08.10.2015 | Education
Heather Wolpert-Gawron

Without targeted collaboration time, teachers are less prepared to help their clientele, and for this reason, more and more schools and districts are adjusting their schedules to allow weekly collaboration days for their teachers. This necessary time isn't a spontaneous decision.

10 Truths Middle Schoolers Should Know

Kari Kubiszyn Kampakis | Posted 09.23.2015 | Parents
Kari Kubiszyn Kampakis

Make it your goal to peak later in life. Make good choices that set you up for a bright future. If you're not a superstar now, that's OK. This simply means there are better things ahead as you continue to evolve and learn.

Sabrina "Bri" Moore: A Teacher Like You

A Teacher Like You | Posted 08.11.2015 | Education
A Teacher Like You

Teaching is not always academics. With the kids we serve and the community we work in, it's life. It's the choices that we make as teachers that affect every single part of how these young people develop and who they become.

Gaming, Ethics, and the Role of Teachers

Heather Wolpert-Gawron | Posted 07.28.2015 | Education
Heather Wolpert-Gawron

As the coach of one of the country's largest middle school speech and debate teams, I come across various moments that one should define as "unethical," but that somehow continue to occur in many competitive events.

What I Never Told Anyone About The Way I Got My Period For The First Time

Christine Wojdyla | Posted 07.10.2015 | Women
Christine Wojdyla

Like the good little Catholic girl that I was, I said my prayers every night. And I prayed to God, begging and pleading with everything I had to bargain, to get my period and be just like the other girls.

This is What a School Lock Down Feels Like

Jennifer Wolfe | Posted 07.07.2015 | Education
Jennifer Wolfe

Sadly, this wasn't the first lock down I've experienced in 25 years of teaching, but this one felt different. It was no drill, that was for sure. The principal's voice over the intercom was clear and firm, but I knew something was terribly wrong.

Neighborhoods: Stepping Stones or Millstones for Kids

Frank Islam | Posted 06.30.2015 | Education
Frank Islam

In 1969, Elvis Presley had a hit song titled "In the Ghetto." The song tells the heartbreaking story of a child born to grow-up, live and die a violent death trapped in a neighborhood and a cycle of poverty from which he couldn't escape.

It's the Last Day of School, and My Students Aren't Leaving?

Jennifer Wolfe | Posted 06.18.2015 | Education
Jennifer Wolfe

For teachers, the last day of school is about both endings and beginnings. It's a celebration and a sniffle of what we're leaving behind. It's more than just hurry up, get inside, close the door, sign yearbooks and you're off.

Dress Code? Spandex

Pia de Jong | Posted 06.16.2015 | Parents
Pia de Jong

The transition to high school announced itself in the form of the middle school prom. Somewhere in that elusive moment between childhood and adulthood, my daughter floats in her too-short dress. Or, rather, in her Spandex underpants.

What I Wish I Could Write In My Students' Yearbooks

Kristy L. Moore | Posted 06.09.2015 | Education
Kristy L. Moore

How can I summarize, Student, everything you have meant to me over the past eight months in just one little yearbook blurb? I have put so much energy into you -- into being able to teach you to the best of my ability. Yes, I will sign your yearbook. And I will never forget you.

The Magic They're Missing

Mary Hickey | Posted 06.08.2015 | Parents
Mary Hickey

To Jack and all the magically different children who are struggling to fit in -- we need you. You color our world. You will write the songs and stories that will inspire us. You will create beautiful art for us to enjoy. Thank goodness we will have your comedic genius to make us laugh when there is so much to cry about in the world. You will create the things we never knew we needed, but then can't live without.