In acknowledgement of this month's designation, we've compiled a list of whole child examples that highlight schools that are positively affecting middle grades students. Each example highlights a program, focus, or achievement and includes links to more information. Take a look and get inspired for this year's Middle Level Education Month.
Relationships have not only proven to be good for our physical health, but our spiritual and emotional health as well. It is through relationships with other human beings that we grow and evolve, as well as deepen and expand our love and meaning in life. As many of you are aware, today is Valentine's Day. Whether or not you like this holiday, it comes each year to provide time for each of us to reflect on and grow our personal and professional relationships.
National School Counseling Week, sponsored by whole child partner the American School Counselor Association (ASCA), is being celebrated this week, February 3–7, to focus public attention on the unique contribution professional school counselors have on students and school systems everywhere. National School Counseling Week highlights the tremendous impact school counselors can have in helping students achieve school success and plan for a career.
This week—January 20–24th—is designated as No Name-Calling Week (NNCW), an initiative of whole child partner Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) that provides students, teachers, staff, and parents with a week of resources and opportunities to show kindness and reflect on the importance of positive school climates. For the past ten years this initiative and other antibullying efforts in schools has grown enormously—the NNCW initiative now has more than 60 national partners and thousands of participants from schools all over the country.
Over the course of a kindergarten through 12th grade education, the average student will spend an entire school year with a substitute teacher throughout their education—which on average is just 13 days per school year. If a student—over the course of her 13-year formal education—happens to have a 1st grade teacher out on maternity leave for twelve weeks, a 6th grade teacher out caring for an elderly parent for six weeks, and a 10th grade teacher who was in an accident and out for 12 weeks, she will spend more than a year and a half of her learning time with a substitute teacher. Because these statistics are very real, there is a critical need to ensure students are still engaged and learning when school and classroom changes occur (Bowers, 2009 [PDF]).
Ferlazzo, 2011). Every day throughout the country, school and community partnerships are making great progress in helping students succeed—and ultimately achieving their goal of helping young people become vital, contributing members of society.
Supported, the fourth tenet of the ASCD Whole Child Initiative, says that each student has access to personalized learning and is supported by qualified, caring adults. While teachers, administrators, and parents are often the most recognized adults in the school community, we must also remember the often-overlooked adults helping to educate and keep our kids safe—the school support staff.
American Education Week's Parents Day—it is important to consider the role parents play in the Common Core State Standards' success. Like most other education initiatives, the Common Core standards will need a team of committed individuals, starting at home with the parents, to ensure its success. The Common Core standards, developed by educators and experts using research and lessons from top-performing countries around the world, describe skills and knowledge children need to be successful in our quickly changing world, including the ability to think creatively, solve real-world problems, make effective arguments, and engage in debates. Parents who value education should embrace the Common Core because their children will be challenged like never before. However, those parents who fail to get involved in their child's education may see their children struggle under the new standards.