Stages of Life Development: Middle School

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Middle School "Middle schoolers recognize God is the Creator of the world." KAITLIN BAUER Middle school students are transitioning out of their elementary-student identity. In the elementary years, students may have loved school and been excited to learn. They may have participated in class and gotten along well with their classmates. Elementary students still enjoy a child's perspective of the world, including things like believing in Santa Claus and generally accepting what they have been taught. However, new middle school students are ready for more freedom now that they are entering young adolescence. Numerous changes are heading toward middle schoolers—if they haven't begun already. School may become more challenging, and demands on grade performance may increase. Interactions with adults lessen as students spend more time on homework, chores, extracurriculars, and friends. Dating is a possibility as hormones begin to influence students' relationships with the opposite sex. Decisions have greater consequences as preteens are faced with peer pressure and expectations from parents or sports. Middle schoolers understand technology and are diving headfirst into the world of social media. Although many adults shy away from working with middle schoolers, remember that they are curious, smart, and altogether goofy—a combination that can make teaching the faith exciting and fun!   A middle schooler like Ben believes in God and knows that Jesus died for him. Ben knows that his friends and classmates are his immediate mission field. He's navigating his own faith while being exposed to varying beliefs and questions that the world stirs up. His job is to do his best at school and take on more responsibilities at home. Ben is growing more confident in expressing his faith. He notices how God is active in his life. He engages in confirmation class and attends worship. He's excited to take his first Communion. Ben spends time in prayer and takes to heart the concerns and requests of friends and family. He has memorized the Lord's Prayer and the Apostles' Creed. Ben is influenced by the adults in his life: his basketball coach, his youth leader, and his confirmation teacher, who always encourage him in his faith. A Day in the Life Middle School • 1 • cph.org • Copyright © 2019 Concordia Publishing House

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