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The Main Issues Facing Middle Schools

by Maria OCadiz

According to A2Z College Planning, an online resource for college-bound students, many parents think the middle school years precede aren't all that critical in their children's education. This is a distorted view since this educational level fulfills various obligations, such as inculcating organization skills in students and teaching them good study habits to prepare them for a bright academic future. Middle schools, however, have encountered various challenges that have impacted on their potential successes.

Inadequate Teacher Training

Lack of proper teacher training and support affects American middle schools, which hampers their abilities to successfully mold the academic future of their students. According to the RAND Corporation, such teachers lack either a major or a minor in the subjects they're teaching, in addition to not being certified in the particular course content. Professional development of teachers through models that are evidence-based can help upgrade the pedagogical skills of such teachers as well as their expertise in the subjects.

Uncomfortable Learning Environment

The RAND Corporation reveals that physical conflicts are a major characteristic in middle schools and interferes with students’ ability to concentrate on their studies. Concerns about safety within the schools by students often lead to emotional distress, which affects their academic performance by distracting them from their studies. Distraction from studies may exhibit itself in the form of social alienation or disengagement, which could also lead to dropping out. Middle school institutions should institute safety programs like anti-bullying campaigns to stem antisocial behavior.

Low Parental Involvement

Parental involvement in the affairs of their middle school kids is often lackluster. Some parents feel that they need not involve themselves in their children’s homework if they don't understand the subject area. The large size of these institutions also discourages parents from involving themselves because they cannot identify one teacher who understands their kids comprehensively. Getting involved in your children's affairs will help them cope with the stresses that exist at this stage of their educations and lives. Stresses may result from problems, such as fluctuating grades, establishing sexual identity, substance abuse or peer influence.

Emotional Issues

Middle schools face a major challenge in the form of students who have a difficult time transitioning to this educational phase because of low self-esteem. For example, a girl may have problems with being the fattest one in class or worry too much about donning the latest fashions. She may become preoccupied with such issues and lose focus of her studies, which lowers her academic performance. Your kid may also become scared of the tough classes and worry that he would not be able to maintain the academic prowess he displayed in elementary school.

About the Author

Maria OCadiz has been writing professionally since 1982, most recently publishing for various websites on topics like health and wellness, and education. She holds a Master of Arts in Education. She is a former university professor, curriculum facilitator and teacher.

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