4 Easy & Effective Ways to Support Middle school Students

We're back with another episode of the Edumagic podcast. With me today is Phyllis Fagell, a counselor at a middle school in Washington DC. She will be sharing with us some tips for supporting our students in middle school. Whether you're looking for coping and SEL strategies or strategies you can use right away to get to know your students, we have it all in this episode.

In this episode you'll learn:

  • We are going through such a unique time in life as middle-schoolers. How can we support our students during this time? They are still very impressionable and malleable. Their mistakes give you so many opportunities to really help them grow. They are starting to care more about their friendships, but they are not yet at the point where they are fully into the teen stage and far less interested in what adults have to say to them. It's a great opportunity to coach kids now.

  • Get to know and relate to your students. There's a difference between relating to students and teaching them. In teaching you, you are imparting behavioral expectations when you ask them to do something. You are giving them an assignment with different deadlines that you expect them to adhere to. Relating is when they're the expert when they're teaching you something about them. Get to know each kid one-on-one every week, and find out about something that's going on in their lives. Don't be afraid to ask for advice. Give them a voice and a choice, allowing them to participate in what is being done.

  • Be a strengths-based classroom. You can leverage their strengths to address any growth edges instead of focusing on areas where there are deficits or where they are lagging.

Now what?

  • Establish a plan for getting to know each student in your class that you can stick to

  • Review IEP documents and identify any accommodations or modifications that may be needed.

  • Identify ways to provide students with a voice and choice in content and assignments.

  • Support students to try tolerable, appropriate, small risks.

  • Utilize SEL strategies in your lessons to check in with students.

Resources mentioned

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