As a 6th and 7th grade teacher, as well as advisor to an ongoing 8th grade project, I was one of the five teachers chosen as the “Application Committee” for the National Junior Honor Society. The application was pretty extensive for the middle schoolers, and most of them took it very seriously. Although taking the application seriously and not taking school seriously is not enough to get accepted, I think that NJHS is an opportunity for kids who have proven themselves to earn recognition and for those who want to earn recognition to get some constructive feedback about their involvement in activities and commitment to fulfilling their responsibilities. Personally, I feel that many kids assumed they were going to be accepted simply because they qualified to apply in the first place. The criteria for acceptance were strict, and most of them did not get in. However, all of us on the application committee hope that this will be a little bit of a reality check for many students who feel that being relatively successful in our very small community is enough to do whatever they want. While we want students to be in NJHS, we want them to understand the responsibility that comes with it and be sure that they are prepared to take on that responsibility.
Highlight of reviewing applications: one student who applied has been a (mostly) active participant in my ultimate frisbee extracurricular. In the section where you list your school activities, you must include the name of the activity, how long you’ve been involved, and your achievements., His achievement? ”Really good forehand”. He’s convinced me… accept him!!