As a teacher I love them, as a student I think I would too. I hated Junior High School. First, as a Grade 7 we were at the same school as 5 year olds. Then, we would jump to Jr. High with Grade 10s. It seems so strange now that the grades within schools has changed.
Middle School in Coquitlam consists of blended classes in some cases, team teaching and pods,
As much as I love Middle Schools, I also love reading and learning new perspectives and ideas.
This blog explores how Middle Schools may hinder growth.
One point this post makes I would like to address:
3. They lose the chance to be leaders / role models for younger students.While I agree wholeheartedly that what I loved as a Grade 7 students in Elementary School was the opportunity to become a leader, the Middle School model indeed still offers this.
This is huge. The K-8 model isn’t perfect and may be difficult because of the size of the student body, but in it, seventh and eighth graders become natural role models and can assume leadership positions to younger students.
First, Elementary Schools which are K-5 allow Grade 4s and 5s to take on a leadership role at a younger age than in previous Elementary schools that were K-7. My daughter, for example, is in Grade 3 and very much looking forward to next year when she can start being a lunch time monitor for the Primary grades and be a part of the school leadership team.
Second, many Middle Schools are close to Elementary Schools and have opportunities that pair up the schools for things such as buddy reading, volunteering at Sports Day or other activities.
Moreover, Middle Schools allow a safe environment for those often awkward years with three grades (6-8) close in maturity and development to learn and grow together with additional support and programs suitable for that level. By providing an inclusive, environment adolescents can engage in learning through collaboration and exploration that can be more challenging in an Elementary school setting with the young ones.
Overall, I am a strong supporter of the Middle School Program and Philosophy. Though I do enjoy reading research and various perspectives on education particularily Middle School.
Some interesting Middle School sites:
SD43 Parent Handbook "Transition to Middle School"