Support educators who serve young adolescents between the ages of 10-15 years of age.


Fall 2018-2019 | Vol. 43 No. 1

In the Middle is the official newsletter of the Ohio Middle Level Association and is published three times per year.


Our eighth grade students write a six-word memoir to start their year in language arts. Being a fan of Twitter-like conciseness, this is a favorite assignment of mine. I take time to really read to understand why students write what they do. These brief glimpses into young adolescents’ thoughts often provide me a different perspective than a full-length autobiography might.


One student, who’s had a difficult life, abandoned by adults and in trouble at a prior school wrote, “Haven’t found the silver lining yet”. When his teacher shared this memoir with me, knowing this young man’s background, I was breathless for a moment. While it’s insightfully sad message, it also conveys hope that the silver lining is yet to come. What if we weren’t aware of this student’s family background? How might that change how we interpret his memoir? How can we help him find his strengths and passion?



President's Message

Jay Clark

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