The period of young adolescent is a very challenging and transformational period for the child. There are tremendous bodily and mental changes taking place which places significant amount of stress on the children, as well parents and the educators involved in dealing with this age group. This age group requires an unusual and sensitive team work to address t hisses which can address their changing expectations and help them cope with their emotional well being.
The issues arise with time and situation and learning the skills to cope with them is important in terms of the peers, as well as family and school oriented affairs. It is also important to take into consideration the thoughts and the feelings as well their behavioral manifestations in theses tender years of change and adaptability. It is important to recognize the “disinterest, disorder and defiance” (Mcknight-Taylor, 1979) which is characteristic feature of middle school level of students.
The educational enforcement should be aimed to engage and involve students and help them feel part of their special environment. Their individuality needs to be respected and their interests need to be taken into consideration. The educators should reach out to the students and aim to give them authentic informed facts which they can base their decision son.
The teamwork of partnership between the young adolescent, parents and the educators will make significant difference in enhancing the navigational strategy to handle the transition with sensitivity and understanding, which will ensure greater degree of success. One needs to recognize that transition is a very difficult time for any age, but for young adolescent it is even more challenging taking into account the other transformational bodily, emotional and 0pphsyical changes which are taking place in their psychological setup. (Parker, 2009).
The emotional , psychological and academic decline which has been witnessed in this phase can be addressed with strategic organizational and academic setup. It is important to investigate and advocate and advise based on authentic facts and figures which can provide a solid concept of the self image which is undergoing change in the life of the middle school students and thus address the issues related to young adolescent with sufficiently organized and departmentalized approach in which advisory and advocacy has a significant role to play.
The issue related to advocacy has been an urgent issue which motivates educators to address the problematic issue to “navigate the transition from elementary to middle school, as their bodies grow and change, s they develop new interests and new peer groups, as they probe their boundaries and test their limits, as they explore a rapidly changing world via Internet, as they consume a daily bombardment of television, magazines, music and headlines” (Buckhardt, 1999).
The challenge of educating young adolescents in this emerging world of changes and transition which is full of distractions and drama which has overwhelmed the lifestyle leads to unnecessary turbulence which impacts their self-centered lives with a roller coaster kind of speed and thrill, which is uncontrolled and untamed. The exposure to abusive material on uncontrolled technological devices makes the situation even more challenging for the parents as well as the educators. The exposure to pain and suffering is lot more which results from the unhealthy choices which are presented by settings which are of abusive nature.
The role of advocacy and advisory in such situation which targets the program to engage and involve the student in the process would be a necessary tool to address this critical nature of issue which deals with navigating young adolescents in their middle school years. The rationale of the advisory program should be aimed at addressing the common attributes of the particular age group, along with the individual attention and conferences in which parents are part of the process. There should be regular and open conferences which builds the bridge between the advisor and advisees.
The school should plan for sound administrative support which is backed by “ an adult advocate for each young adolescent” (Buckhardt, 1999). “According to This We Believe, the obligation of a developmentally responsive middle level school is to provide ‘a continuity of caring that extends over the student’s entire middle level experience so that no student is neglected’ (National Middle School Association, 1995, p. 17). An advisory program enables that ‘continuity of caring’ to take root. ” (Buckhardt, 1999).
The success of the students in this transitional period and transformational phase has to taken with challenge and understanding which can ensure navigation of young adolescents in a sensitive and humane manner which provides supportive care and discipline to help them keep within the boundaries without suppression and repression. This will be reflected in their academic achievement, school attendance, lesser alienation, greater interests in school related learning and greater adaptability.
These are the pillars which will help build a bridge which will help the young adolescent transitioning between elementary and middle school years a climate which helps them foster and grow to their peak. References Buckhardt, R. M. (1999). Advisory: Advocacy for Every Student. Middle School Journal, Vol. 30, Number 3. http://www. nmsa. org/portals/0/pdf/publications/On_Target/advisory/advisory_3. pdf Burkhardt, R. M. and Kane, J. T.. “An Adult Advocate for Every Student”. Mcknight-Taylor , M. (1997) Making Education Special for All Young Adolescents.
Jouranl Article. Childhood Education, Vo. 73. Beane, J. A. (1993). A middle school curriculum: From rhetoric to reality. (2nd ed). Columbus, OH:National Middle School Association. Burns, J. (1998). National middle school association 25th anniversary interview. Las Cruces, NM: Author. Lipsitz, J. (1984). Successful schools for young adolescents. East Brunswick, NJ: Transaction. National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. (1994). Early adolescence/generalist standards for national board certification. Washington, DC: Author. Parker, A. K.
Elementary Organizational Structures and Young Adolescents’ Self-Concept and Classroom Environment Perceptions Across the Transition to Middle School. University of Suth Florida, Journal of Research in Childhood Education, Vol. 23Issue 3, pg. 325-339. Rubinstein, R. E. (1994). Hints for teaching success in middle school. Englewood, CO: Teacher Ideas Press. Shoreham-Wading River Middle School. (1989). Advisory activities at Shoreham-Wading River middle school. Shoreham, NY: Author. Shoreham-Wading River Middle School. (1973). Advisory handbook. Shoreham, NY: Author.
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