Middle school education has been reduced to a number of stereotypes for too long. What is considered to be one of the most critical time periods in a child’s life is often overlooked as “lost” time of awkward transition from childhood into the teen years. In fact, it’s far more than just a transitional period between elementary and high school education. How a child experiences this time period can shape the way he or she performs in high school, college, and beyond. Through the right kind of parenting and education, students can take this as an opportunity to gain resilience and independence -- two important skills that will have an impact on the rest of their lives.