The middle school years are a maze of academic duties, human growth and self-development, discovering self identity, and increasing social interaction with other people. This maze can be an adventure of achievement and opportunity, or it can be a struggle of difficulty and disappointment. As these experiences are the impetus or foundation for many later achievements in academics, careers, and personal life, it is imperative that educators maximize these formative years by helping middle school students ...
The middle school years are a maze of academic duties, human growth and self-development, discovering self identity, and increasing social interaction with other people. This maze can be an adventure of achievement and opportunity, or it can be a struggle of difficulty and disappointment. As these experiences are the impetus or foundation for many later achievements in academics, careers, and personal life, it is imperative that educators maximize these formative years by helping middle school students successfully travel through this maze despite its ups and downs, its twists and turns, and its new challenges to master and the old issues to resolve. For instance, educators must support students who have fallen behind, so as to thwart their reduced likelihood of turnaround in high school. Likewise, educators must challenge exceptional students, in order to perpetuate their enthusiasm for learning and prepare them for college studies. By discussing the comprehensive roles and duties of school administrators, counselors, and teachers, The Power of Middle School addresses how to maximize middle school curriculum and extra-curricular activities for the academic, personal, and professional benefits of all students.
Evaluating his experiences with middle school students and his perspective on the 'big picture' of the middle school years with his unique bridge/maze analogy, Dr. Babbage's latest is a 'must read' for anyone working with middle school students!
Dr. Babbage captures the voice of the middle school student. He has spent time getting to know the unique mindset that develops during this difficult period of adolescence. He understands the fears, hopes, and anxieties that they face, and how administrators, teachers, and parents can help guide them through these middle years. This is an important read for anyone who has a middle school student in his or her life.
This book describes what middle schools can be if teachers, administrators, and counselors base their services on a comprehensive understanding of the unique and multidimensional characteristics of middle school students. The book maintains that effectively teaching and supporting these students involves "maximizing the middle school moment" (i.e., using students' own distinctive zeitgeist as the touchstone for instruction). Babbage bases this advice on his own 28 years of experience as a teacher and administrator and on a qualitative survey given to knowledgeable veterans who have successfully worked with students at this age level. This results in a highly readable book, filled with suggestions that make good sense and are contextualized within many vignettes about actual students. Although not recommended for research libraries, this would be a satisfying read for parents whose children are facing middle school or for beginning education students who might be considering a career with this population. Summing Up: Recommended. General readers and lower-division undergraduate students.
Keen Babbage has twenty-eight years of experience as a teacher and administrator in middle school, high school, college, and graduate school. He is the author numerous books including Reform Doesn’t Work (2012) and The Dream and Reality of Teaching (2011).
Chapter 1 – The Unique Possibilities of Middle School
Chapter 2 – The Essential and Unique Work of a Middle School
Chapter 3 – Middle School Teaching and Teachers
Chapter 4 – The Administration of a Middle School
Chapter 5 – Middle School CounselorsChapter 6 – College Preparation Programs for Middle School Educators
Chapter 7 – Middle School Students
Chapter 8 – Middle School Curriculum, Academics, and Extra-Curricular Activities
Chapter 9 – Why It Is So Important To Get Everything Right in Middle School
Chapter 10 – Middle School Stories
About the Author