Middle level students, who range from ages 10 to 15, experience some of the most significant changes of their lives.
These changes include physical, social, emotional and intellectual. Students are seeking a level of independence and are highly centered on peer interactions.
Successful middle schools recognize these changes and how this affects a student’s thinking and learning. They also recognize that each young adolescent will mature at his or her own rate.
The understanding of adolescent development is important in making decisions concerning curriculum, instruction and assessments. At Pequot Lakes Middle School (PLMS), the staff uses these principles in all of our programs.
An example of this is our new schedule that has been created for next year. There are several aspects of the schedule that display these principles. One is that all students will have the opportunity to take exploratory classes to develop their thinking, critical thinking and technology skills.
Students will have core classes of math, science, social studies and language arts/reading that challenge students, use varying types of teaching activities, and meet state standards. All students will have a homeroom with an adviser every day to build both personal and academic skills.
Interdisciplinary activities such as bike trips, dances, field trips and movies provide additional opportunities to develop independence and social skills for students.
Our students at PLMS are currently participating in a pay-it-forward campaign for the month of March. This program involves students doing a random act of kindness for someone else and then that person does a random act of kindness for another person and so forth. They record their act on a card by signing their initials and then passing it on.
The goal of this is to assist students to think of others and display positive behaviors. Some of these cards may float out to the community. Please join our students in this positive activity and if you get a chance, return the card to the middle level office.
March is declared National Middle Level Month. As a community or parent, please recognize that these children are going through many changes. They need your patience and understanding, and with your support can make positive contributions in our community.
At Pequot Lakes Middle School we are proud of our students, staff and programs. Help us celebrate our middle level students’ education this month by supporting the students and the school programs they are involved in.
(Susan Sergent is Pequot Lakes Middle Level principal.)