Last week our 6th, 7th, and 8th graders took a break from their regular class schedules for a morning of innovation, collaboration, and fun. Through a technical writing competition, complex engineering challenges, and NASA-inspired problem-solving scenarios, middle schoolers worked in teams to develop the fundamental elements of the innovator's mindset: curiosity, creativity, perseverance, collaboration, and reflection.
Sixth graders face unique challenges during their first year of middle school. They step onto Teel Campus with an influx of new classmates, newfound independence, and high academic expectations, all while managing the dramatic physical and emotional changes of adolescence. Stress and anxiety are normal responses to all of this change, but young students need practical strategies to manage those emotions. Part of our Transition to Teel curriculum, Health and Wellness is a class designed to help our 6th graders understand these changes, self-regulate and advocate for themselves and their peers.
Middle schoolers often ask what they “need to know.” Hoping to get a good grade, they want to zero in on the answer as quickly as possible. This stunts curiosity and prohibits real intellectual understanding of universal concepts tied to their study. In our 7th grade classrooms, Mr. Daryl Walsh teaches his students to ask the types of questions for which there are no simple answers as they explore the human condition with S.E. Hinton’s “The Outsiders.”
With Veterans Day just behind us and Thanksgiving on the horizon, service and giving take a more tangible shape in our minds during this time of year. And in our Middle School, that means intentional programs to teach our students about service, in both philosophy and action. Through Middle School Service Day and the Pay It Forward Initiative, our middle schoolers learn what it means to be contributing citizens of our local and regional communities.