Personal Development/Character Education in the Middle School
The Middle School students attend a weekly Personal Development class that runs the duration of the school year. PD classes are single-sex and are co-taught by two teachers who work to foster an atmosphere of trust and confidentiality, allowing all students to feel safe and comfortable enough to discuss the issues that are important to them. Nobles is committed to providing a strong character education program, therefore this curriculum continues all the way through the student’s sophomore year.
The Middle School curriculum, which is designed as a sequenced two-year course, addresses many topics specific to the experience and development of the seventh- and eighth-grade students.
Our Class VI program begins with exercises that foster awareness of self and community. Media (television & video clips) are used as a vehicle for prompting discussions around identity, personal characteristics and gender roles. From there, our weekly topics may include, but are not limited to:
• Social justice and human rights
• Diversity, stereotypes and prejudice
• Forms of harassment, including cyber bullying
• The role of the bystander/ “upstander”
• Peer relationships/conflict resolution
• Staying physically and emotionally healthy
Our Class V program begins with community-building activities and encourages students to brainstorm together as we focus on age-appropriate information including:
• Mental health, self-esteem and stress reduction
• Emotions and emotional problems
• Learning differences and different types of intelligence
• Perfectionism and pressures to succeed
• Study skills and organization
• Healthy body image and the role of media on self-image
• Assertiveness and decision making around sexual activity
• Gender differences and sexual orientation
• The transition to the Upper School
Through open discussions and role-playing we empower students to consider the ramifications of the choices they make.
Please feel free to contact either of us with any questions, concerns, or suggestions regarding the Middle School PD curriculum.
Alycia Scott-Hiser, PD VI Coordinator/Teacher
Jen Hamilton, School Psychologist and PD V Coordinator/Teacher