What Matters in Middle

October 14, 2022

I have recently had some conversations with youth in our schools regarding what matters to them in their education. They point to having adults who care about them, opportunities to engage in different kinds of activities, and social groups that they feel a part of. This seems to make sense and I would argue this is what we hope to achieve in our middle schools for all of our learners. Given our middle school vision of “joyful, inquiry-based approaches that create access to experience and opportunities to develop agency, identity, and belonging”, we are headed down the right path.

Our middle leadership group has had the opportunity to work with Dr. Leyton Schnellert this school year, and he punctuated the points brought up by youth, by describing this need to belong and cared for as a critical part of supporting middle school learners. In fact, he reminded us of the importance of development in these areas, noting adolescence as the second most critical time of brain development in a young persons’ life. Dr. Schnellert also reminded us of the impact of relationships built on trust and helping students feel valued in our efforts to impact their learning journey.

Moving toward our vision in middle, the voice of our students and support of our learning community reminds us of the importance of nurturing and supporting the identities of our middle school learners. Part of this work will be the reflective and reflexive practices we are committing to as adults in understanding who we are, so we can support our students in the ways they need us to.

Abbotsford School District