Middle School has changed dramatically from when I first stepped foot into Westwood Middle back in the 1980’s. While technology is a driving factor in the changes, the majority of improvements come from a better understanding of how students learn and what their needs are. From teachers looking to improve their classroom experience to families shopping for the best school for their student, here are four tips for designing a more engaging classroom.
What is bullying, really? It’s become a buzzword in the media and in playground talk but many of us, parents and educators, don’t have a solid understanding of the formal definition of the word. According to Dan Olweus, who is one of the foremost researchers and writers in the field, bullying is defined as: “[when a person] is exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more other persons, and he or she has difficulty defending himself or herself.”
Topics: Social-Emotional Development
The Experiential School of Tampa Bay addresses the first of Shorecrest’s five Core Values and how it relates to young students.
The Experiential School motto is,
"At Shorecrest Preparatory School, we respect ourselves, each other and the environment."
This motto provides a basis for the interactions and actions of all members of our community that hopefully will extend far beyond school. To help our preschool students live the motto, they must first understand what respect means and looks like. After delving through many definitions of the word respect, I believe the following compilation of several is concrete enough for young children to come to understand, and is the most relevant to our expectations. As a noun, respect is the recognition that all people and elements of our environment, natural and otherwise, are important and should be treated in an appropriate way. Respect, as an action or verb, is thinking and acting in a positive way about them.
The 2016 election season may be the first in which the term “mudslinging” is too gentle to describe the kinds of rhetoric and even physical violence that we have seen over the past several months. As teachers and parents, our enthusiasm about the democratic process is likely not at an all-time high. And yet, this is exactly the moment to talk with our children about the role of a citizen in our democratic republic. If we are seeing the same kinds of behaviors in the 2032 election, we will have no one but ourselves to blame.
Most students have very busy days at school, chock full of exciting activities and adventures. Because their school days are so full, it is also wise to limit the number of after school programs or activities included in children's schedules. Going from school to another structured class or lesson almost every day can be stressful rather than enjoyable, particularly while the children are still adjusting to school. Remember, each class means adjusting to one more unfamiliar person with different expectations and style, and possibly more stress. Therefore, it is best to be choosy and limit the number of activities in which your children are involved.
Even when children seem to enjoy many activities, it is best for them not to always be scheduled; they truly need down time.