13.1 Ways That Teaching Middle School is Like Running a Half Marathon
When The Opioid Crisis Comes to Middle School: One School’s Journey From Tragedy to Connection
The Opioid Crisis in the United States is an undeniable and deadly issue; one that politicians, police, and physicians face every day. But when two 13 year-old students died from opioid overdoses just days apart in September of 2016, Treasure Mountain Junior High School in Park City School District was launched into a state of shock, despair, and turmoil. What does a middle school do when faced with such a tragedy? What steps should the school, district, and community take to support grieving middle-level students but also to prevent such deaths from happening in the future? Conference participants will learn about the strategies Park City School District and Treasure Mountain Junior High School are implementing to recover from tragedy, to address students’ drug and alcohol use, to build a positive culture in its middle-level buildings, and to foster strong and caring relationships with students and the community. More than ever before the situation is urgent; the environment created in middle schools is a matter of life and death.
Student success is predicated on choice. As much as they may try, teachers cannot force growth with bribes, coercion, or wishful pleading. Yet, they can create an environment that inspires success, a culture that fosters creativity, risk taking, and unmatched effort. How? I teach four universal, research-based principles of creating a classroom culture of success, empowering teachers in turn to empower their students. I’ll focus on two such principles, Raise Expectations and Strengthen Relationships, exploring their synergistic effect when properly and consistently applied. Teachers will leave armed with conceptual and practical skills that will produce an immediate impact.