Let’s Think Like Middle Schoolers! By Deb Juracich, International Counselor

My journey back into teaching this school year has been a rewarding whirlwind.  Times have changed since I taught seventeen years ago.  Teaching at Metro Early College Middle School is a dream come true.  Metro is a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) school.  As a requirement, the students participate in a Design Challenge.  This year the Challenge is focused on Smart Columbus. Students are challenged to use their imagination to create a transportation system that provides access to everyone.  Students use the Stanford Design Thinking Process to prepare a written component, build a prototype, and create a presentation of their solution.  Students have to understand empathy, putting themselves in the shoes of those who have no access to transportation, and develop an authentic solution.  

WOW!  I have been blown away with their imaginative, creative solutions to providing smart transportation for everyone!  The students problem solve freely, are open-minded, and have no constraints.

This got me thinking.  What would happen if we as SPG members thought like middle schoolers to provide and implement authentic solutions to the membership and growth of our organization?  What would Sigma Phi Gamma look like in the future?  If our responses to the questions are anything like the solutions generated from the Design Challenge at Metro, I bet SPG would be thriving!  Let’s try to tackle our growth and expansion with an open mindset.  Like those imaginative, creative, problem solving middle schoolers!

4 thoughts on “Let’s Think Like Middle Schoolers! By Deb Juracich, International Counselor”

  1. Wow, Deb, I like this thinking. I love when you said, “The students problem solve freely, are open-minded, and have no constraints.” We too can problem solve freely, have open-minds, and think/act outside the box when we’re open to it.

    The other thing about middle school aged students is that they have no fear of walking up to a stranger and talking to them. We all need to be better at talking about our service work and the good that SPG brings to our lives. I was recently in the hospital and talked to 2 nurses, a Physician Assistant, and X-ray tech about SPG. It was fun to ‘brag’ a bit about all the good things our Chapter, Province, and International does on behalf of communities. One of the nurses said, “I love how much you give credit to the women volunteering and giving. Sounds like a huge group of cheerleaders building each other up and doing good.” I agreed!

    Let’s think about that ‘middle school magic’ and make some new friends for SPG.

  2. Deb, how wonderful, to be back in this kind of situation, AND in the special kind of Middle School, I have to smile, I retired from
    Middle School, in the Discipline Department, not at all the kind of fun you are having, even though I do miss my bad boys, hahaha.

  3. I totally agree, Donna! Let’s shout from the mountain tops or wherever you are located about our wonderful SPG! We can do this!!

    Thanks, Mary! I love my 6th graders and the openness and lack of fear that they bring to the classroom!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *