Opinion
School & District Management Letter to the Editor

Addressing Individual Needs Crucial for Middle School Students

January 17, 2012 1 min read

To the Editor:

(“Study Links Academic Setbacks to Middle School Transition,” December 13, 2011) was a painful read. Painful because the remedy to ensure better middle school education is continuing to focus on surveying individual student need, rather than teaching the material and expectations vital to success.

If a middle school offers art, music, science, English, math, history, current events, technology, health, physical education, foreign language, and a variety of extracurricular activities, the teachers, through their instruction, gain an accurate picture of the student. The students, from being a part of such a program, can begin to articulate their potential and that of their peers.

Middle schools hire professionals to deliver on the list given above, yet many middle school educators continue to offer “revivals” like the ones suggested in the article, instead of focusing on the three- to four-year middle school mission.

What do teachers do in a middle school? They provide the buffet of healthy choices in the list given above so children can feast. The students are immersed in activities that allow them to grow into productive, unique individuals with legitimate feelings and informed opinions. Instead, the middle school philosophy of the last 40 years addresses how educators should go about teaching, rather than actually teaching.

If middle school students were able to effectively articulate their feelings and interests, we would not need high schools. The reason students can’t achieve in middle school is because valuable teaching time is wasted talking, instead of delivering the rich variety of experiences that the list above offers.

David Pace

Albany, N.Y.

The writer is a supervisor for the South Colonie school district in Albany, N.Y.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the January 18, 2012 edition of Education Week as Addressing Individual Needs Crucial for Middle School Students

Events

Jobs The EdWeek Top School Jobs Virtual Career Fair
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
A Safe Return to Schools is Possible with Testing
We are edging closer to a nationwide return to in-person learning in the fall. However, vaccinations alone will not get us through this. Young children not being able to vaccinate, the spread of new and
Content provided by BD
Equity & Diversity Live Online Discussion What Is Critical Race Theory and Why You Shouldn't Shy Away From It
In this episode of A Seat at the Table, Peter DeWitt sits down with lawyer-educator Janel George and EdWeek reporters, Stephen Sawchuk and Andrew Ujifusa, as they discuss what’s at the heart of the critical

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Sponsor
Drive Improvement in Your School With Harvard’s Certificate in School Management and Leadership
Aubree Mills had two dilemmas she needed to address: One was recruiting and retaining good teachers at the Ira A. Murphy Elementary School
Content provided by Harvard Graduate School of Education
School & District Management Opinion Are Your Leadership Practices Good Enough for Racial Justice?
Scratch being a hero. Instead, build trust and reach beyond school walls, write Jennifer Cheatham and John B. Diamond.
Jennifer Cheatham & John B. Diamond
5 min read
Illustration of leadership.
Collage by Laura Baker/Education Week (Images: DigitalVision Vectors, iStock, Getty)
School & District Management We Pay Superintendents Big Bucks and Expect Them to Succeed. But We Hardly Know Them
National data is skimpy, making it hard to know what influences superintendents' decisions to move on, retire, or how long they stay. Why?
8 min read
Conceptual image of tracking with data.
marcoventuriniautieri/iStock/Getty
School & District Management Data For the First Time in the Pandemic, a Majority of 4th Graders Learn in Person Full Time
The latest monthly federal data still show big racial and socioeconomic differences in who has access to full-time in-person instruction.
3 min read
Student with backpack.
surasaki/iStock/Getty