Unit 2: Middle School Students Exposed

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There is no one perfectly and precisely representative middle school student whose personality and academic profile exemplifies all middle school students. For middle school educators who embrace the adventure of discovering student individuality combined with knowing the overall tendencies and characteristics of middle school students in general, the experience of working in these grades can be very fertile for enhancing academic achievement and personal growth. Excerpt taken from: The Power of Middle School by Keen Babbage

Meet Janet

Hi! My name is Janet. I'm in 6th grade. I don't like it very much. Fifth grade was, you know, really neat. I knew everyone and I knew all about the school. Sixth grade is different. I can pretty much find my classes but I don't know any other place. 7th and 8th graders never speak to any 6th graders. They think they are better than us, I guess. My teachers are really strict. We had a test in every class about rules, school rules, team rules, classroom rules. It's all we ever hear about. All we do in math is stuff I already know. I also take art and orchestra. My family made me play since 4th grade. They said I'd like it more in middle school. Wrong. Art class is cool. I want to take it all year, but we change classes in January. Why not let me take it all year if I like it so much? Middle school does things like that to you. They make you do stuff you hate and they don't let you do stuff you like. One day I pretended to be sick because an 8th grader was mean to me, yelling all crazy. I might try out for girl's basketball but my grades are not so great. I always made good grades in fifth grade. My science teacher is new. She seems confused and she's been absent a lot. One more thing. My best friend has a boyfriend now. So I don't have a best friend anymore.

Meet Nathaniel

Hi! My friends call me Nate. I'm in 7th grade. I thought it would be better but, well, you know, it's just the same old school stuff. At least I'm not an awful 6th grader anymore. So how are my classes? Pretty boring. We do worksheets and we watch videos. My grades are OK. Thats's because the work is so easy. I do have this really cool technology class. We do stuff in there. What's really bad about 7th grade are the students who get into trouble all the time. They are so dumb. They steal and fight and lie, just like last year. Why can't they go somewhere else? Last year I was on the football team. The coach was so unfair, he only used his favorite players. I quit. I joined the chess club this year. I don't know anything about the game but there's a pretty girl in the club and she doesn't know I exist. I hope she likes me. Chess is a neat game. We had this really dumb assembly about the internet and stuff. I know more about the internet than the speaker does. High school students should tell us stuff about the internet and hacking and stuff. I would pay attention to that. I hope 8th grade is better but it probably won't be. My brother and sister are in high school. They make good grades and say the classes are better. Maybe I can skip 8th grade and go to high school next year.

Meet Shawn

Hi! I am eleven years old, but I'll be twelve next month. I'm in the 6th grade. In most classes we do the same stuff we did in 5th grade. The teachers said we had to review for a month of two. The math teacher said we had to get ready for the football season, the end of the baseball season, the election in November, and then the holidays. We do all kinds of math problems about sports and voters and holiday shopping. It's pretty cool. I see my friends at school and we have fun together. Thomas used to be my best friend, but not anymore. He started some rumor about me and I got really mad and yelled at him in English class. It was all sort of stupid. My kind-of friend Alex set me up so I wouldn't be friends with Thomas. His plan got us all in trouble. When I'm in high school I want to play soccer. My middle school has a soccer team, but the coach is my science teacher and he doesn't like me. I know because he calls on me when I don't know the answer and he never calls on me when I do know the answer. Oh, yeah, you probably want to know about my grades. They're not bad. My brother is a genius and he's in the 8th grade at my school. Some teachers ask me if I am as smart as my brother. What kind of question is that?

Meet Tasha

Hi, I'm Tasha. I'm in the seventh grade and I'm involved with everything. I've always been involved with everything. And I always know what's going on at school. I know who likes who. I know who just broke up. I know the latest news. And I also make good grades plus stay out of trouble.How do I do all of that? It's easy. I do my homework right after I get home. My parents never have to ask me about my homework, when they get home from work it is already finished. Then I do chores. I walk the dog and empty trash cans. I clean my room and now I do laundry because I complained about my chores so I gotta do an extra thing. I really like to walk my dog, she's really fun to be with. My really good friend Rachel lives in my neighborhood and we always make plans to walk our dogs together. Rachel and I talk about everything while we walk the dogs. Yesterday Rachel told me that Tommy likes me but he never paid attention to me when I was a 6th grader. But then I heard from my other best friend that he really likes another girl and was trying to make her jealous. Tommy is cute but he's not that cute to get in some rumor war over. I think middle school is easier than elementary. The students who do nothing are strange. I never really talk to them because, well, it sounds mean but I don't like them and I don't want to be like them.

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