Middle School Students' Developmental Needs
Middle school is an exciting, yet challenging time for students, their parents and teachers. During this passage from childhood to adolescence, middle school students are characterized by a need to explore a variety of interests, connecting their learning in the classroom to its practical application in life and work, high levels of activity coupled with frequent fatigue due to rapid growth, a search for their own unique identity as they begin turning more frequently to peers rather than parents for ideas and affirmation, extreme sensitivity to comments from others, and heavy reliance on friends to provide comfort, understanding and approval. (ASCA, 2013)
Meeting the Challenge
Middle school counselors are professional educators with a mental health perspective who understand and respond to the challenges presented by today’s diverse student population. Middle school counselors do not work in isolation; rather, they are integral to the total educational program. They provide proactive leadership that engages all stakeholders in the delivery of programs and services to help students achieve success in school. Professional school counselors align with the school’s mission to support the academic achievement of all students as they prepare for the ever-changing world of the 21st century.
Brenda Paget has worked in public education since 1989. Her undergraduate degree is from Purdue University, and she has graduate degrees in mathematics, school counseling and school administration from Miami University and Xavier University respectively.
In 1990, she began a seven-year stint at Liberty and Ridge junior schools as a mathematics teacher for seven years. She decided to pursue a degree that would allow me to help children become more successful students, work with them to help them effectively deal with a variety of problems, and inspire them to do their personal best in their lives.
Mrs. Paget completed her school counseling degree from Xavier University and then moved to the Lakota Freshman School, where she served as a school counselor for five years and assistant principal for three years. She then worked at Lakota's Central Office as an administrator for special education and student services before returning to school counseling at Plains in 2015.
Parents should contact Mrs. Paget to discuss academic, social/emotional concerns and behavioral issues. She is available to offer family support, discuss individual student needs and make appropriate referrals to community resources.