THE MIDDLE YEARS (5th-9th grade, 10-14) IS A HUGE TIME OF LIFE TRANSITION.
IT MIGHT EVER BE ONE OF THE MOST SIGNIFICANT TIMES IN A PERSON’S LIFE!
DO YOU KNOW AND UNDERSTAND THAT TRANSITION THAT IS HAPPENING IN THE LIFES OF THESE STUDENTS?
HERE ARE AT LEAST TEN OF THE LIFE TRANSITIONS THAT ARE HAPPENING DURING THESE PIVOTAL YEARS.
Going from the elementary school, one maybe two main classroom setting to the middle school/Jr. high setting of a homeroom and changing classrooms for every subject.
9. Stable to Emotional.
With changes all around them and internal, hormonal changes. Middle year students may go from being stable, consistent emotionally to having ranging emotions from highs to lows often inside a short period of time without much real cause or warning.
8. Dependent on Parents to Independent of Parents.
Middle year students with the various changes in schedule and personality will also move from childhood dependence to a maturing need for more freedom.
7. Arranged Friendships to Chosen Friendships
Friendships go from parent arranged "play dates" to students choosing their own peer groups based on mutual preferences and interests.
6. Innocent to Knowledgable.
With social education, media access, and parent's having "the talk" the middle year are marked by a stage from a more innocent view of the world to a more knowledgable, realistic view of life.
5. Fearful to Risk Taking
Along with the move from innocences to knowledge and the transition from dependence to independence to knowledge the middle year are time of being fearful to taking risks socially, emotionally, and even physically.
4. Sexually Unaware to Sexually Aware
More specific in the innocents to knowledge transition, these are the years of becoming aware of sexuality, others and their own. Often leading to some questioning and identity awareness.
3. Concrete to Abstract Thinking
A black and white, right and wrong simplicity of thinking moves to a processing of grey areas and synthesis of understanding and thought.
2. Child Body to Teen Body
Growth spurts, puberty, and sexual discovery are the physical transitions in the middle years that move a child into being a teen/young adult.
1. Family Faith to Personal Faith
Where the role of middle years ministry and importance of a church providing a solid middle year specific ministry becomes so paramount. Belief moves from what parents believe and teach to what a student personally discover, question and claim as their own. The reason we do what, we do as 5th-8th pastors/director/leaders/volunteers!!!