Today’s young people are living in an exciting time, with an increasingly diverse society, new technologies, and expanding opportunities. To help ensure they are prepared to become the next generation of parents, workers, leaders, and citizens, every student needs support, guidance, and opportunities during adolescence, a time of rapid growth and change. Early adolescents face unique and diverse challenges, both personally and developmentally, that have an impact on academic achievement.
Middle School Students' Developmental Needs
Middle school is an exciting, yet challenging time for students, their parents and teachers. During this time from childhood to adolescence, middle school students are characterized by a need to explore a variety of interests, connecting their learning in the classroom to life and work; high levels of activity coupled with frequent fatigue due to rapid growth; a search for their own unique identity as they begin turning more frequently to peers rather than parents for ideas and affirmation; extreme sensitivity to the comments from others; and heavy reliance on friends to provide comfort, understanding and approval.
Why Middle School Counselors?
Middle school students are characterized by rapid physical growth, curiosity about their world and an emerging self-identity. Through a comprehensive developmental school counseling program, counselors work as a team member with school staff, parents and the community to create a caring, supportive climate and atmosphere whereby young adolescents can achieve academic success. Middle school counselors enhance the learning process and promote academic achievement. School counseling programs are essential for students to achieve optimal personal growth, acquire positive social skills and values, set appropriate career goals and realize full academic potential to become productive, contributing members of the world community.
Example Supports and Services:
Academic skills support
- Organizational, study and test-taking skills
- Coping strategies
- Peer relationships and effective social skills
- Communication, problem-solving, decision-making and conflict resolution
- Career awareness, exploration and planning
- Individual and small group counseling
- Individual/family/school crisis intervention
- Goal-setting/decision- making
- Academic planning