How much did you enjoy your middle school experience?
A lot of people remember going through that age and think, “that was a hard time.” If you have a child, a friend, or know anyone who is around the 11 to 13-year-old age group, Willow can make their middle school experience one to remember with great memories. My name is Linda Solis, and I am the Outreach Director at Willow Public School. I’d say my middle school years were no worse or better than anyone else’s. It was a time where I honestly didn’t know what I was doing, but I didn’t care. Having friends was fun and not having friends was hard. A lot of today’s middle school students seem to be far more advanced (in many ways) than I was when I was going through my preteens. Bullying seems to be worse than ever, although, it didn’t look like it could get worse back then.
For my eighth grade nephew, these have been the most challenging years of his life. It started to get rough when every day, waking him up to go to school in the sixth grade was going to turn into a scuffle. My nephew has always been bigger than his age group. He’s always been the tallest in the class, always had bigger feet and hands. He hit a growth spurt at an early age, and people always had something to say about it. Maybe people’s intent was not to be malicious, but even if they were compliments, to his ears, they were jabs at his size and weight. He was an athlete and a darn good one at that. With his size and agility, he could catch every rebound that came off of the rim, but his friends would make comments that didn't help his self-esteem. Things got to the point that he left his public school to for homeschool. Depression became very real and at times very scary for his family. His mom, who has to work to help her husband provide for the household has got to make time in her day to teach him, to love him and to make him feel like a normal person.
If there had been a school like Willow when my nephew was going into the sixth grade, his middle school experience could have been very different. I became a part of Willow because I see the opportunities that this school has to offer to our kids. I love that each Willow student will be able to have their a personalized learning plan. This means the student, parent, and teacher will sit down and go over what it looks like for that child to become a successful student by using the project-based learning method. All three of them will have a say in how that student will learn, with hands-on projects. The student to teacher ratio will be low enough to where each student will get all the help they need from their teachers. At Willow, we as staff will be looking out for each student at all times.