Most people aren’t too excited to look back at those pictures from middle school. But for some, it isn’t just because of braces and awkward bangs.
The Association for Middle Level Education (AMLE) outlines an interesting conundrum: while during the middle grades, students are going through their most intense period of brain development (aside from infancy), it is during this period that as many as 60 percent of students become “chronically disengaged.”
And according to Lynsey Wood Jeffries, the CEO of Higher Achievement, an organization that works with middle school youth, these middle grades experience the highest teacher turnover and hold the fewest grade-certified teachers.
It becomes that much more of a priority to educate teachers particularly for middle school — who understand the specific development stages and ways middle schoolers learn best. It is equally that much more of an opportunity for middle school teachers to make a positive difference.
Assumption bachelor’s in education students may pursue specialization for licensure as a subject-specific middle school teacher (grades 5-8). This includes coursework geared toward building skills to teach to this specific age group, such as EDU 330 The Middle School: Concept and Curriculum.
In this course, education students learn instructional strategies that work best with this particular age group, as well as the history and current trends in early adolescent education. The course also includes a pre-practicum component where students spend a great amount of time observing in the field.