When I got my teaching degree, I was set on teaching high school English, but 的only open position I found was in a middle school. 所以我 took it, planning to move up as soon possible.
Well, I never looked back. Something about that age just got me. And over those years, I became kind of an expert on 的idiosyncrasies of sixth, seventh, 和 eighth graders. I figured out how to make 的most of their special qualities. If you recently started teaching middle school, or you have a child this age, you’ve probably discovered these things, too:
1. They care more about 的opinions of their peers than pretty much anything else.
This means they will 有时 do things that make no sense, like not turning in an assignment you know they worked hard on, because they just found out they will have to read it out loud in front of 的class. Or refusing your offer of a chocolate milk, even though they love chocolate milk, because someone else is around who recently declared all chocolate milk to be babyish.
如何处理： 看看您是否可以使这种高质量的作品 对于 您：找到班上最有信心的孩子，每个人都期待的孩子，并尝试让他们承担一个新项目，或帮助您领导负责其他工作的人。如果酷女孩乔西说她喜欢莎士比亚，那么其他人更有可能效仿。另外，要知道，社交活动是初中生的巨大动力。如果您承诺在课堂结束时有五分钟的谈话时间以换取其余时间的辛勤工作，那么您’很可能得到充分的合作。
对于那些已经过了青春期的人来说，’s easy to 对于 get what it was like to deal with 的constant betrayal that comes with a new body: There you 是 , going about your regular kid business, when one day your skin explodes with zits. Popping them turns out to make them 更加引人注目。或者您’重新坐在第三期，通过一个孩子静静地受苦’s serious B.O. Escaping to fourth period, you discover 的smell is there, too. After a quick check, you 是 struck with 的devastating realization that 的person with B.O. is YOU. Every couple of weeks, some new phenomenon introduces itself into 的middle schooler’的身体生活，威胁要破坏他们的社交生活，直到高中毕业。
如何处理： 尽量不要引起对他们身体的关注；他们希望没有人指出他们的声音在变化，他们的脚越来越大或更糟，他们没有’似乎根本没有增长。也？如果你’re trying to get a kid to do something public, like do a problem on 的board or pass out a worksheet, 和 they 真 抵抗你？那里’s probably a physical explanation, be it a boner, a suspected period leak, or 的sudden discovery of a muffin top. If you get inexplicable resistance, back off. 唐’t try to figure out 的reason. Just move on to another kid. The one you let off 的hook will be eternally grateful.
你在那边说’s a spider in 的corner of a seventh grade classroom? Get 准备 对于 a wall-climbing, horror-movie-screaming, Armageddon-style wig-out. Did it just start snowing outside? Sit back 和 watch them all act like they never saw snow, complete with squeals 和 fist-pumps 和 fist-bumps 和 的whole gang rushing to 的window! 等待— is someone crying in 的bathroom at 的dance? Observe as ten girls sprint through the gym, tugging each other’s arms, with faces that say this is 的most important thing that has ever happened. Ever. Whether it’s due to limited life experience, hormones wreaking havoc on emotions, or 的trying on of identities, young adolescents tend to exaggerate just a bit.
如何处理： Validate 的real feelings behind these exaggerations while trying to re-frame their experiences in more realistic terms: “Yep, spiders can be scary. 让’s take care of this little guy so we can get back to work.” By describing problems in calm, rational language, you’re modeling 的way a healthy person navigates life’s little surprises. And try to have a sense of humor: Instead of getting annoyed by this behavior, know that it will pass, 和 in a certain light, it’s actually kind of funny.
小学生似乎很高兴能在同龄人面前获得认可：赢得最佳出勤奖，当月学生，最高数学成绩-所有这些使他们感到自豪。但是，请一个中学生在同龄人面前站起来，对他的优良品质充满诗意，您可能会看到那个孩子像老葡萄一样枯萎。我曾经有一个学生，一个坚强的波斯尼亚人，他也恰好是一位出色的作家。有一天，我退回论文时喊道：“如果您想看一本写得很好的论文，请看一下埃米尔的论文。”我的想法是，他们将成为一切， 哇，如果像Emir这样的酷男写得很好，那我也想这么做。 Nope! Emir looked at me like I just took his wallet. And 对于 the rest of 的year, he turned in crappy writing. It’s not that 的praise was unwelcome, it was 的public part he didn’t like. If I wanted him to keep writing well, I should have kept quiet about it.
如何处理： Definitely keep up 的praise, but if you notice that a student doesn’t respond 的way you’d希望，这可能表明他’d喜欢私下听。
刚发现你’怀孕了，想与你的学生分享’重新接近？最好把它放在早上的公告中。为另一位老师举办一个惊喜派对，想让您的孩子秘密入睡？考虑一下惊喜毁了。初中生可能会全心全意地对自己的机密信息进行保密，但是当有分享的机会出现时，他们将无法抵制’知道。在这个年龄，他们不’尚未了解共享某些内容可能导致的后果’并非要共享。什么’更糟糕的是，他们有办法删除原始消息中的所有细微之处，因此当您碰巧说时，“Mrs. Flowers’班级比我的有条理，” it is passed on to 花太太 as “冈萨雷斯女士说’re too strict.”
如何处理： Treat your middle school kids 的same way you should treat 的internet: 唐’分享你不是的任何东西’愿意在公共场合观看广播。
当孩子们穿越时 伯爵’认知发展阶段，他们从完全以自我为中心— perceiving themselves as 的center of 的universe — to being more aware of 的existence of life outside their immediate surroundings. Right around age 11 or 12 is when people typically enter the final stage, 正式运作, where they start to understand that others might experience 的world differently than they do. But getting firmly into this stage takes time, 和 it’坎a的道路。这意味着几件事情：（1）他们会对您非常感兴趣， 有时。他们’ll ask all kinds of questions about your personal life, your family, 的kind of food 和 music you like, 和 whether or not you cuss 和 drink outside of school hours. (2) Their awareness of other people’的需求仍然零散。在你的日子里’不舒服，请他们 只给你十五分钟的安静 at 的end of a class period, they’我会同意的，完全打算为您提供帮助。减少到五分钟后，您的房间就是一个动荡的动物园。
如何处理： 享受时会钦佩和兴趣，但不要’t be surprised if there 是 times when they 对于 get you exist at all. 那 正式运作 stage can be awfully slippery at first. And as 对于 those super personal questions? Answer them within reason: In school you 是 a role model, a professional, 和 你不是他们的朋友, so always give them 的G-rated version of your life.
我可以’t count 的number of parents who told me their kids barely told them anything anymore, who said they had no idea what their kids’ school lives were like. Pulling away from parents is a normal part of adolescence. Although kids this age need adult guidance possibly more than at any other time in their lives, they have reached 的point where their parents may be the last ones they’ll look to 对于 it.
如何处理： 作为生活中值得信赖的成年人，您’re in a unique position to influence these kids 和 fill in 的gaps that have been left by their self-imposed isolation from their own families, so remember to be 的adult: Advise responsibly, model smart decision-making, 和 unless you suspect genuine abuse, avoid taking 的child’站在父母身边’. You 是 in partnership with 的student 和 他们的主要照顾者；确保您的学生对此始终清楚。
One minute you’re having a deep philosophical discussion with them about 的symbolism in a Robert Frost poem, they’re 真正得到它，您几乎可以看到它们在眼前逐渐成熟。十分钟后，他们’重新制作腋窝放屁并询问是否’s okay to drink 的water from 的fish tank. And then there’s 的 摆动 — an almost unbearable amount of it, especially from 的boys. The demonstrated maturity level of middle school kids is all over 的map; changing from child to child 和 within each individual.
如何处理： Don’不要指望成熟的行为能够持续下去，当孩子气出现时，要知道这是正常现象– 是 发挥自己的年龄。了解如何利用它：与高中生不同，中学生对评论游戏等游戏更加热衷，他们令人难以置信地愿意在办公室做笔记或为您分发文件。摆动也是正常的—这些身体像疯了似的成长着，没有更多的隐窝，几乎没有机会燃烧掉这种能量。如果您发现摆动会扰乱课堂，’这是你避风港的好兆头’在您的计划中加入了足够的动力。加上它，您应该会看到更多的自我控制能力’绝对必要。
Most of 的time, when I told someone I was a middle-school teacher I got 的same basic reaction: 他们畏缩，或者说 哇 , 和 then add something along 的lines of “Tough age.” And I would smile 和 nod, knowing that 强硬 didn’t begin to cover it. One word could never quite capture 的ridiculous, smelly, stubborn, fragile beauty of them all. ♥