William Alexander, a founding father of the middle school movement, stated that the learning of right answers is not enough. He believe that students should not just learn the content, but that students should be the center of education. Students should have a personalized education that appeals to the “whole person”. Teachers can help create the whole person by developing relationships with the students and managing their classrooms. Also teacher-to-teacher collaboration is essential for student growth.
The schools should cultivate an atmosphere where students can mature and succeed in every aspect of life. In the 1910s, the concept of Junior High schools started to broaden. The purpose for it was to help adolescent transition from elementary to high school. Many recognized that many of the adolescents that transition from elementary school to high school were having problems staying in school, keeping their grades up and developing socially. However good intention it was based, there were some gaps and failures in the movement. Many junior high schools didn’t captivate the interest of the students.
The curriculum was very rigorous; almost comparable to high school curriculum. The education was too general. Exploratory experiences were in place, but they were too limited. Many adolescents weren’t benefitting much from this movement. Although the number of drop-outs went down, students were leaving deprived of a personal experience. The middle school movement was birth after a great initiative to help students to become high schoolers.
The middle school movement is built upon personalizing education, having a flexible curriculum, and emphasizing morals and values. Personalize education is a concept that’s bui. .achers would be able to assist me with material or knowledge based things. I would also use this interval of time to find out different educational conferences and forums to attend. I could establish more relationships and gain new insights on how different teachers and principals run their middle schools.
Managing a classroom has a lot to do with the surrounding culture and demographics. Although every middle school is the same in curriculum; it’s different in implementation. After building a knowledge based foundation, my long term goal would be to establish a program myself to help future teachers develop their perception on teaching and education. This program could be an afterschool program or an annual forum that educates young teachers to step outside the box when creating a lesson plan and be humble enough to accept veteran teacher insights and experiences.