This blog exists to encourage adults to better understand and be more involved in the lives of early-adolescent children (10-14 year olds), so that these children may actually enjoy their chrysalis-like transformation into adulthood. I want to connect with people who deeply desire to help early adolescents grow up well, “more than fine, more than just bent on getting by, more than just ok.” (Switchfoot)
My name is Andy Kerckhoff. I married my best friend in 1993, a cute girl I met back in 1984 at summer camp when we were 13. She is now a full-time mom, part-time tutor, and a much better parent and teacher than I will ever be. She inspires much of my thinking.
We have an 18-year-old son and a 16-year-old daughter. Our son is an active student, soccer player, and electric guitarist. He’s got a great sense of humor too. He keeps us on our toes. Our daughter has severe physical and intellectual disabilities. She can’t walk or talk, among other serious issues (epilepsy, restricted diet, etc.), but she lives a full life, loving others well. Our family life is demanding and frustrating, but is rich in love and joy. We are never lonely or bored.
I’ve been a full-time educator since 1993, working in Texas and Montana in my early years. I now teach Global Studies to 7th grade students at an independent school in St. Louis, Missouri. In the summer, I teach a couple of summer camp courses. In the past I have been the principal of an elementary school, a camp counselor, an English teacher at an alternative high school, and a middle school coach (basketball, track, and cross country).
The views expressed in this blog are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer or anyone else associated with me.
Email me at: email@example.com
What is Early Adolescence?
This stage in life, known as early adolescence, is a time of transformation for children in grades 4-8, who range in age from 10-14. They are searching for meaning and value in their lives, often very successfully. However, they often struggle with conflicting identity issues, weak self-esteem, and significant peer pressure, in addition to struggling with their academic, athletic, and other performance-based activities. Early adolescents are trying desperately to understand themselves, their world, and where they can fit in successfully and happily. It is a time of great turmoil for some, while for others it is a time of great excitement and wonder. For most, it is both an exciting adventure entering a larger world and a terribly anxious time of uncertainty.
This video poem defines a middle schooler pretty well.