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ERIC Number: EJ1041893
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Sep
Reference Count: N/A
100 Words: Becoming an Advocate One Essay at a Time
Bennett, Cory A.
Middle School Journal, v46 n1 p26-31 Sep 2014
This article highlights how implementing a particular writing experience fosters the development of relationships between students and teachers. Wanting to gain a deeper understanding of the students as individuals, as members of various groups, and their cultural ties seemed overwhelming at first, but after several weeks of working closely with the students and developing their trust and respect, the students were assigned to write an essay, describing in 100 words, what is it like to be your age? While each student's essay clearly voiced his/her own experiences and perceptions of being a young adolescent, there were several common themes that dealt with relationships, identity, and an awareness of their changing selves, transitions to adulthood and life beyond school, and an optimistic hope for the future. Many students highlighted the roles and influence that their peers had in their life. Many of the students also wrote about the strenuous relationships they often had with parents or other adult family members. The understandings gained from students transformed some instructional practices. Several new classroom policies were adopted. Different partnering structures were used so that students would meaningfully interact with different students throughout the week, not just their closest peers. True to the ideal middle school, this teacher sought to create a safe and inviting space on campus that allowed students to connect and interact with their peers and adults.
Descriptors: Essays, Writing Assignments, Cultural Influences, Student Experience, Early Adolescents, Interpersonal Relationship, Identification (Psychology), Adolescent Development, Peer Influence, Family Influence, Dating (Social)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
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