I hope everyone’s year is off to a great (if busy) start! It’s finally feeling like fall here in Maryland and Washington, D.C. While it’s been a bit more challenging to balance everything now that I’m back at work, my school has been tremendously supportive. I’ve been joking with colleagues and parents that it’s ironic that the same people who are happiest writing alone in their closet have to emerge to face an audience if they actually want to share their ideas.
To that end, I’ve been doing a lot of talking, most recently at Parents Council of Washington and at Kent and Radcliffe Schools. Next up for November and December: Washington Episcopal School in Bethesda; Spark Kindness in Boston; PrepMatters; AMLE in Nashville; Langley School in McLean, Va.; The National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine in Oakland; Convent School in San Francisco; and Lake Tahoe School in northern Nevada. I’ve been doing podcasts, too, including ones for The National PTA, Dr. Robyn, Positively Dad and Amaze.org. Those links are on my website.
It’s definitely easier when others share my thoughts! I’m so grateful to the following talented writers for featuring “Middle School Matters” in recent articles.
The Atlantic (Alia Wong) interviewed me about the factors that can make the middle school years particularly challenging.
The New Yorker (Lizzie Widdicombe) shared my thoughts about middle school drama and how individuals can tap their core values and exert positive social pressure to combat bullying.
TIME (Ingela Ratledge Amundson) interviewed me about my thoughts on middle schoolers and stress for this article: http://www.phyllisfagell.com/
Philly Tweens published this exclusive excerpt of my book, which draws from the chapter on raising sexually healthy kids.
Your Teen for Parents magazine (Kristina Wright) wrote a lovely review of “Middle School Matters,” calling it “relentlessly helpful,” a line that made me laugh.
The Reading Eagle in Philadelphia re-ran this Chicago Tribune review (Heidi Stevens) of “Middle School Matters,” writing, “If there’s a middle schooler in your life, I highly recommend giving it a read…with the help of experts, the middle school years can be so much more than a period to endure.”
I’ve also written a few pieces, including this article I co-authored with Dr. Susan Newman on tween vaping for U.S. News and World Report. It’s the first of three pieces we’re writing for the magazine, all of which focus on tween health.
I wrote this column (the first of four) for the Michigan Association for Secondary School Principals (MASSP). In it, I share why middle school administrators are uniquely positioned to help students emerge from the phase feeling stronger and wiser for their struggles.
I continue to write my weekly education workplace advice column, Career Confidential, for The Kappan.
In my latest column for AMLE Magazine, I share eight counseling strategies that educators can use in the school setting to better connect with their students.
I hope everyone is doing well, finding time for fun and relaxation, and enjoying the children and/or students in their lives!