Principles of Good Practice: Middle School Educators

View this PGP as a PDF file.

Preamble: The following principles provide common ground for interaction between independent school professionals and their many constituents (parents, students, colleagues at other schools, and the public). The NAIS Principles of Good Practice for member schools define high standards and ethical behavior in key areas of school operations to guide schools in becoming the best education communities they can be, to embed the expectation of professionalism, and to further our sector’s core values of transparency, excellence, and inclusivity. Accordingly, membership in NAIS is contingent upon agreement to abide by the spirit of the PGPs.

Overview: Middle school is a unique period in the educational life of a student. Youngsters experience a variety of significant changes, both individually and collectively. The range of academic ability and physical and emotional development is huge. Relationships among adolescents, not to mention with their parents, change on a daily basis. Middle school educators have the responsibility to respond to and provide for the unique developmental needs and characteristics of their students.

Principles of Good Practice:

  1. Middle school educators provide specific programs aimed at creating a bias-free environment, safe and inclusive for all, which focuses on eliminating cliques and establishes a climate where bullying is unacceptable. Programs should support each student’s need to develop a distinct self-concept and to be recognized as an individual and as a member of the group.
  2. Middle school educators and all personnel who interact with middle school students have a thorough understanding of the patterns of physical, intellectual, social, and emotional growth of their students. They like to work with this age group and have chosen middle school as their first interest.
  3. Middle school educators actively engage parents as partners in recognizing the implications of the significant changes affecting middle school children. At this stage in a child’s life, parent and teacher interaction is especially important. Therefore, educators should actively seek ways for parents and teachers to interact, especially in programs that address issues affecting middle school student development.
  4. Middle school educators work to ensure a smooth transition experience for students and parents entering and leaving the middle school years.
  5. Middle school educators teach to the growing intellectual and social abilities of their students while employing a wide range of pedagogical techniques and assessment strategies to ensure all students are successfully challenged.
  6. Middle school educators help students learn to make responsible choices and understand the consequences of their actions, including the use of technology on campus.
  7. Middle school educators create opportunities that are especially appropriate for middle school students so that they can develop a sense of belonging to and responsibility for their own communities. This approach promotes issues of sustainability and a better understanding of students’ roles in an interconnected and global society.
Download a PDF of the complete set of NAIS Principles of Good Practice.