Highland Park Middle School implements core subject teaming that consists of four-five teachers (ELA, science, math and humanities), who share a group of students. Teaming is considered the heart and soul of the middle school model. Team teachers meet consistently to discuss curriculum, review class progress and discuss current trends with students.
As you know, adolescence is a time of tremendous change physically, emotionally and academically. The transition from elementary to middle school can be one of the most exciting and challenging times in a student’s life. In elementary school, children typically learn in one or two classrooms with the same group of students and one or two teachers. At Highland Park Middle School, students are working with several teachers, many new students, and new sets of academic and social expectations. Students must learn to juggle homework and long-term project assignments from different teachers. They also are learning how to make new friends responsibly, exercise their growing independence and deal with the physical changes of puberty.
The National Association of Elementary School Principals and the National Middle School Association recommend that schools adopt transition plans to “restore the strong sense of belonging the entering middle school students once felt in elementary school.” One part of our plan at Highland is to expand teaming. The developmental differences that 12 and 13 year old students experience calls for more support to help them make a smooth transition.
What Are the Benefits for Your Child?
Team teachers have identified the following benefits of being on a team:
- Sense of belonging - When students transition to junior high school, they adapt to a larger school, new teachers, new expectations and a complex schedule. Being on a team gives them a “home base,” a common group of teachers and students.
- Consistent, clear Expectations - instead of having eight different teachers, each with his/her own rules, students can expect clear guidelines concerning behavior, homework, etc., from the team teachers.
- Tracking student progress - because all four teachers have the same students, they are able to get a view of the students’ abilities and progress.
- Helpful communication with parents and guardians - one teacher can contact parent/guardians when needed and relay information related to the student’s progress in all four classes.
How can I find out more information about teaming?
Please call 651-293-8950 if you have questions concerning teaming.
For more information about middle schools and how you can support the needs of adolescents go to the National Middle School Association website at Home Page: http://nmsa.org/
If you do a site search for teaming, the first item on the resulting list has a link for "teaming" (the word in blue as part of the item text). If you click on this, it takes you to a list of topics. You need to scroll down to teaming and then click again. This gives you a list of articles and or presentations.
Family Connections. If you click on Services/Resources (left column of home page) and then Family Connections (right column) it takes you to an archive of their parent newsletters
National PTA Home Page: http://www.pta.org/
Link to Minnesota PTA: http://www.mnpta.org/