Published: | By: Tia Kim Topics: About Us, Curriculum, Middle School, Research, Social-Emotional Learning Meet the Makers of Our New Middle School Program Tia Kim, Director of Programs, Partnerships, & Research Committee for Children takes great pride in how we develop our Second Step Program. We not only take the most current research in the field and translate it into lessons that use best practices in pedagogy, but we take pains in designing those lessons to be user-friendly. The melding of these components results in a program that is effective, well received, and reaches millions of children each year. Developing (and improving) the Second Step Program is not an easy task and takes many years of thought and refinement. One thing we have always done in the development of our programs is to offer pilot lessons in real classrooms so we can get feedback from both teachers and students. We did this again for the new Second Step Middle School Program, piloting all the lessons for every grade in diverse classrooms in middle schools across the country. We received feedback from educators about the lessons and observed lessons being taught in the classroom, noting how teachers were actually instructing them. We used the vast amount of feedback and data from this process to help us rewrite and refine all our lessons. Not only were we able to observe what was and was not working (for both teachers and students), but we got feedback from all our pilot teachers that helped us improve these lessons. Moreover, this pilot effort helped us revise the interface for the first Second Step fully digital program. Why did we go through the arduous process of setting up pilot classrooms across the country, collecting feedback data, and revising lessons several times? Because we are dedicated to ensuring that the Second Step Program is not just effective—producing positive outcomes for children and youth—but easy for teachers to teach. Something we could not determine without seeing it taught in classrooms. We hope you’ll find this attention to detail has made all the difference.