The National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) recently shared the article “Seven ways parents and educators can improve kids’ middle school experience” by Phyllis Fagell, the author of Middle School Matters. I immediately clicked on it, and found a series of thoughtful suggestions and examples, each of which in fact does relate well to our own middle school program. Her seven suggestions (in boldface), and a few examples of how they have been playing out in our school:
I looked over at the four smiling students. “Well,” I said, “that was our third straight strong run-through. We’re ready for the show. But if anyone wants to do it again, we absolutely will. That’s how it always works.” Juliet immediately raised her hand. “I want to do it again!” she said. “This song is so much fun!”
Chloe Hughes '19 is on the Teen Advisory Board for Miss Heard Media. This is her fourth post for them, published on May 6, 2019
We have come so far, yet at what point will we be satisfied? We have women as presidential nominees, senators, CEOs, lawyers, doctors and in essentially every field; when will we be satisfied? Men keep asking me when it will be enough for me- when I’ll be satisfied with what we as women have achieved.
You may read the entire post here.
I remember four years ago, as one of my advisees was contemplating moving up from eighth grade to the high school, she said, “Bill, what am I going to do without you?” Well,” I said, “the way I think of it is, once an advisee, always an advisee, and I’ll be right here if ever you need me or even if you just want to drop by and say hi.” Of course, she made the transition to ninth grade just fine, and continued to grow into herself and develop her positive and cheerful voice throughout her remaining four years here.
“It's your journey, do it the way you wanna do it." — Tan FranceTonight, GSA (Gender Sexuality Alliance) members will gather to make signs for the Northampton Pride parade tomorrow. I won’t be there, but I can imagine the scene. Rainbows, glitter, and affirmation will abound, and mingle with stories and wry jokes. Occasionally, something going on on “ Queer Eye” will grab everyone’s attention. And then, as the laughter subsides and eyes return to posters-in-progress, conversations will resume.
Ellen '19 shared the following email with the full school, and has kindly agreed for it to be reposted here.
When I first heard the news about the Cathédrale de Notre Dame de Paris, I immediately went into a state of shock and denial. I closed my Twitter feed immediately, only to open it again, tentatively, some minutes later, when I realized it was my best chance to get updates, only to close it yet again when the first image popped up in my feed. And so on, back and forth and back and forth and…
Filed Under: Notre Dame
(with thanks to MiddleWeb for originally publishing this review)
As a teacher in a girls school, I’m acutely aware that my students (girls and non-binary kids alike) often feel trapped between two opposing yet interlocking ideals our culture sets for them – to be their true authentic selves, and to please other people.
Today is the annual Day of Silence, sponsored by GLSEN. Some of the students in our Gender Sexuality Alliance (GSA) are choosing to participate, maintaining silence throughout the class day to call attention to the figurative silence of the closet in which many LGBTQ+ people live, whether wholly or partially. Following GLSEN guidelines, teachers have been asked to support the kids, bending where possible to allow them to maintain their silence in the classroom (for example, writing out answers to questions or doing board work) with the understanding we might also ask them to participate vocally in cases where that might genuinely be necessary. At the end of the day, the kids will gather for a three-minute long period of silence followed by a ritual (read: loud and joyful) breaking of the silence.
Recently, I attended the Annual Conference of the New England League of Middle Schools. As always, it was a chance to catch up with old friends, learn about ways to better support my students and colleagues, and in general enjoy being with people who really get middle schoolers and love working that age group.