Special guest: Phyllis Fagell, LCPC Middle school is a time of seismic shifts—everything is changing from friendships and relationships to hormones, expectations and not to mention the physical, intellectual, moral, social and emotional growth your child is experiencing in just a short amount of time. Fundamental questions are floating around the heads of adolescents such as “who am I?” “Am I normal?” and “do I fit in?” Middle schoolers are thrust into a changing environment where adult involvement is reduced and their own skills become vital as they figure out exactly what they are going to allow to be their social and personal currency. Skills such as making good friend choices, negotiating conflict, considering other people’s perspectives, cultivating their own passions and recognizing limitations and of course, making responsible, healthy, ethical choices. Yes, there is a lot to this middle school experience that bridges the gap between childhood and teenhood—and thankfully, we don’t need to go it alone.
Phyllis L. Fagell, LCPC, is the author of “Middle School Matters,” the counselor at Sheridan School in Washington, D.C., a psychotherapist at The Chrysalis Group and a frequent contributor to The Washington Post and other national publications. She is also a regular columnist for the Association for Middle Level Education and Kappan magazines, and she consults and speaks throughout the country. Phyllis graduated with honors from Dartmouth College, received a master’s degree in journalism from the Medill School at Northwestern University, and earned her master’s degree in counseling from Johns Hopkins University. She tweets @pfagell and blogs at www.phyllisfagell.com