6th – 8th Grade
Middle school brings back memories of social anxiety, peer pressure, bad haircuts and acne. The middle school years present challenges as youth face new horizons and possibilities. Early puberty and mid-adolescence is a critical phase of personal and intellectual development. This season means new beginning, experiences and challenges.
During this time-frame is a transition for children, and while it can be an experience of growth and independence, it can also be difficult for children who face certain problems.
Knowledge is power, so is preparation. Below are a few typical middle school problems our youth may face.
Self-Esteem: Even confident kids may experience a severe drop in self-esteem in this season. They will compare themselves with other peers, and my decide that he or she just doesn’t measure up to others whom they believe is smarter, prettier, and more popular.
Academic Pressure: At this age, our students seem to be so young, but middle schoolers are already feeling the pressure. They hear about the competition to get into a good college, score well on SATS and other pressures, such as their environment. Some of this pressure come from the school staff, other times its well meaning parents who place it directly on their kids’ shoulders.
Drama: Bullying and other antisocial behaviors tend to peak in the middle school years. It can be a tough time for kids who are on the receiving side of bad behavior. Even popular kids can be bullied or made to feel bad by others and in turn make bad decisions or actions to fit in.
Temptation: Middle school may be the first time your child decides to experiment with smoking, drinking, drugs, sexual misconduct and other dangerous behaviors.
Disappointment or Rejection: I don’t know of anyone escaping a broken heart at some point early in life. It could be puppy love, loss of friendship, the split of parents, relocation from friends or family, death in the family, and the heartache that goes with it can cause some damage and a negative outcome.
These transition years can be exhilarating and full of promise, but they also can cause some measure of anxiety. This is where some students lose their way and become easily influenced and vulnerable.
Most students make new friends, but they also develop more interests and talents, establish new habits and take harder courses. Making sure a child handles this transition well should be an important goal for everyone. We must have positive and supportive assistance and partnership to make a positive impact during these transitional years.
Students would benefit from learning to embrace new possibilities with creativity, cooperation and connection.
9th – 12th Grade
High school is the level of education where the student transitions from a teenager to young adulthood. The information acquired during this time is supposed to be more practical and must help the students prepare for adulthood. Since some students will not go further than high school with their education, these are the classes that are supposed to complete their training for life.
High school students are aged between 14 and 18. The corresponding grades are from 9th to 12th and the students in each year are referred to as freshman, sophomore, junior and senior year students. Their relationship with adults and authority has changed. Also, everybody expects them to act like adults. And this is where high school education is supposed to intervene.
In some places, high school ends in an exam. For most people, this is the most important exam of their lives. These are national assessments intended to help the students find a place in society in accordance to their levels of training.
High school is the place where students are invited to think for themselves and apply all that they have learned so far (text interpretation and advanced math). Middle school students can be aged from 11 to 15 and high school students can be aged from 14 to 18. The age difference, matched with the hormonal changes and their view of adults and authority, make for different approaches in education.
(Source: Difference between Middle School and High School, Published on October 10, 2016 – TheyDiffer.com http://theydiffer.com/difference-between-middle-school-and-high-school/)
High school is a time of increased independence for teenagers, both academically and socially. In addition, there will be some challenges in both areas, to name a few:
Academic: there will be an increase in homework. High school places more emphasis on getting good grades. Students will need to learn how to juggle more with less time.
Distractions: high school is larger and have more activities, which allows more opportunities for distraction and/or getting lost in the crowd. To succeed in high school, students will need to manage time well, stay organized and take good notes.
Peer Pressure: the need to fit in. Trying to fit in with the crowd or certain groups, and it is hard to be themselves. Peer pressure from every direction – friends, other students, the popular crowd, media, dating & following what is supposedly hip or new on the scene.
Communication: there are barriers between teachers and students and understanding each other. It is similar to the generation gap and there is a level of misunderstanding. It’s important for students to learn how to self-advocate and let teachers know about their learning and attention issues.
Balance: learning how to balance their workload, extracurricular activities, hanging out with friends and doing well in school. As well as, working a part-time job to help support the many needs of high school expenses, car note, car insurance, etc.
College and Career Preparation: high school is where the view is a soon-to-be-reality. It is the time to start thinking and preparing for it. Understanding the importance of your GPA, necessary classes and extracurricular activities that will play an important part of their next level.