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This We Believe. Patti Kinney NMSA President-Elect Principal, Talent Middle School PO Box 359/102 Christian Ave. Talent, OR 97540 541-535-1552 [email protected] Key Generalizations About Young Adolescents. Early adolescence is a distinctive developmental stage of life.

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This we believe

This We Believe

Patti Kinney

NMSA President-Elect

Principal, Talent Middle School

PO Box 359/102 Christian Ave.

Talent, OR 97540

541-535-1552

[email protected]


Key generalizations about young adolescents
Key Generalizations About Young Adolescents

  • Early adolescence is a distinctive developmental stage of life.

  • The accelerated physical and personal development that occurs during this period is the greatest in the human life cycle and is marked by great variance in both timing and rate of growth.

  • These are the years during which each individual forms his/her adult personality, basic values, and attitudes—those things that determine one’s behavior.

  • They seek autonomy and independence. They are by nature explorers, curious and adventuresome and can be sensitive, vulnerable, and emotional.

  • They learn best through interaction and activities rather than by listening.


Key generalizations con t
Key Generalizations con’t

  • They seek interaction with adults and opportunities to engage in activities that are relevant and meaningful to them, their families, and communities.

  • They are open to influence by the significant others in their lives.

  • Adolescents reach physical maturity at an earlier age than their grandparents, and they acquire apparent sophistication earlier than in previous generations.

  • The general public has limited understanding of 10- to 15-year-olds.


School culture
School Culture

If we attempt to implement reforms but fail to engage the culture of a school, nothing will change.

Sylvester Sarason


Indicators of an unhealthy school culture
Indicators of an Unhealthy School Culture

  • Low performance is blamed on students and parents

  • No connection is seen between teaching and learning

  • Underachievement is rationalized

  • Staff is unwilling to collaborate and is resistant to change

  • Little involvement with parents - especially parents of minority students

  • Discipline is punitive - not rooted in values


Educators who value working with this age group and are prepared to do so.

Courageous, collaborative leadership.

A shared vision that guides decisions.

An inviting, supportive, and safe environment.

High expectations for every member of the learning community.

Students and teachers engaged in active learning.

An adult advocate for every student.

School-initiated family and community partnerships.

Successful schoolsfor young adolescents are characterized bya culture that includes


Curriculum that is relevant, challenging, integrative, and exploratory.

Multiple learning and teaching approaches that respond to their diversity.

Assessment and evaluation programs that promote quality learning.

Organizational structures that support meaningful relationships and learning.

School-wide efforts and policies that foster health, wellness, and safety.

Multifaceted guidance and support services.

Therefore, successful schools for young adolescentsprovide


NMSA has identified 14 school practices and exploratory.culturalcharacteristics that, when consistently integrated and fully implemented, create successful schools for young adolescents.


NMSA has identified 14 exploratory.school practices and cultural characteristics that, when consistently integrated and fully implemented, create successful schools for young adolescents.



Creating a culture of literacy
Creating a Culture of Literacy exploratory.

  • Leadership: The Key to Unlocking the Door to Literacy (courageous, collaborative leadership)

  • Assessment: Driving the Program (assessment and evaluation programs that promote quality learning)

  • Professional Development: The Recipe for Success (students and teachers engaged in active learning)


Creating a culture of literacy1
Creating a Culture of Literacy exploratory.

  • Highly Effective Teachers: The Essential Ingredient of a Literacy Program (educators who value working with this age group and are prepared to do so)

  • Intervention: Meeting the Needs of ALL Students (multiple learning and teaching approaches that respond to their diversity)


Middle school success requires
Middle School Success Requires: exploratory.

  • Being firmly grounded in the reality of today’s students

  • Being role models of risk-takers

  • Creating an inviting, safe environment for learning

  • Hard work and humor


This i believe
This I Believe exploratory.

I have chosen to be a middle level educator, for I recognize that the years of early adolescence are pivotal and abound with individual potential and opportunity. Therefore, I will care for these students personally, listen to their voices, respect their concerns, and engage them in meaningful educational experiences that will prepare them for a promising future.


I believe that every young adolescent
I believe that every young adolescent... exploratory.

•has the capacity to learn, grow, and develop into a knowledgeable, reflective, caring, ethical, and contributing citizen.

•must have access to the very best programs and practices a school can offer.

•must be engaged in learning that is relevant, challenging, integrative, and exploratory.

•thrives academically, socially, and emotionally in a democratic learning environment where trust and respect are paramount and where family and community are actively involved.

•faces significant life choices and needs support in making wise and healthy decisions.

•deserves educators who are prepared to work with this age group, who are themselves lifelong learners and committed to their own ongoing professional development and growth.


I believe that every young adolescent1
I believe that every young adolescent... exploratory.

•has the capacity to learn, grow, and develop into a knowledgeable, reflective, caring, ethical, and contributing citizen.

•must have access to the very best programs and practices a school can offer.

•must be engaged in learning that is relevant, challenging, integrative, and exploratory.

•thrives academically, socially, and emotionally in a democratic learning environment where trust and respect are paramount and where family and community are actively involved.

•faces significant life choices and needs support in making wise and healthy decisions.

•deserves educators who are prepared to work with this age group, who are themselves lifelong learners and committed to their own ongoing professional development and growth.

Therefore, I proudly dedicate myself to becoming the best middle level educator I can be and an active advocate for all young adolescents.


The parable of the pencil maker
The Parable of the Pencil Maker exploratory.

The Pencil Maker took the pencil aside, just before putting it into the box, “There are five things you need to know before I send you out into the world,” he said. “Always remember these five things, and you’ll be a great pencil.”


The parable of the pencil maker1
The Parable of the Pencil Maker exploratory.

  • You are capable of many great things, but only if you allow yourself to be guided by someone’s hand

  • You will experience a painful sharpening from time to time, but you’ll need it to become a better pencil

  • You have the ability to correct the mistakes you make

  • The most important part of you will always be what’s inside

  • On every surface where you are used, regardless of its condition, you must leave your mark.


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