This book is a must read for anyone in close proximity to middle schoolers. Using actual events from the lives of real teenagers, the authors (a middle school principal and a child neuropsychologist) combine perspectives to provide an engaging, light-hearted journey into the adventures and misadventures of newly-minted teens. First, the authors put to rest some long-standing misconceptions about teenage behavior. However bizarre they appear to adults, teenagers' emotional reactions and their behaviors can no longer be explained solely by raging hormones. Using the stories as a backdrop, the authors provide emerging findings from developmental psychology and the neurosciences to explain why young teens do the things they do. The developing brain of a young teenager produces thoughts and feelings that are vastly different from an adult. Knowing this helps us to appreciate and accept the unique challenges they face.
Richard M. Marshall, Ed.D., Ph.D. is an associate professor in the Division of Education, University of South Florida Polytechnic and an adjunct associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry, USF College of Medicine. He is the founder and co-director of the USFP Applied Neuroscience & Cognitive Electrophysiology Lab. Sharon Neuman is the principal of Lawton Chiles Middle Academy, an accredited math, science, and technology magnet school. Mrs. Neuman has received the Commissioner's Outstanding Principal award, her school was one of six schools in the nation highlighted in the National Association of Secondary School Principals (N.A.S.S.P.) decade study on leadership titled Leadership for Highly Successful Middle Level Schools and most recently she was recognized as one of three principals in the state for the Innovative Principal of the Year by the Florida Council of Instructional Technology Leaders.
Acknowledgments vi Foreword vii Chapter 1 - Middle School for Middler Schoolers 1 Chapter 2 - Middle Schoolers - Ages 12 - 14 5 Chapter 3 - Adolescent Brains 16 Chapter 4 - Identity Formation 25 Chapter 5 - Unusual Choices They Make 38 Chapter 6 - Predicaments They Get Themselves Into 47 Chapter 7 - As a Group They Want to be Heard 56 Chapter 8 - Relating to Peers and Others 66 Chapter 9 - The Gifted Teen's Adventurous Nature 82 Chapter 10 - Academic Challenges 89 Chapter 11 - Socially They Struggle at Times 98 Chapter 12 - Emotional Episodes and Psychological Concerns 109 Chapter 13 - Powerful Points from Middle Schoolers 122 Chapter 14 - Reflections 142 Appendix 152 Reference List 157 About the Authors