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Academic Contract Template for Middle School

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

Using an academic contract can be a great way to get students to agree to particular goals. This lesson offers a template of an academic contract that is likely to be successful with middle school students.

Why Use an Academic Contract?

Are you a middle school teacher who sometimes feels like your students are not performing up to their potential academically? This can be so frustrating for teachers, parents, and sometimes even the students themselves! Helping students become more determined to show their best selves through their academic work is really important in the middle school years. As is often seen at this age level, kids are testing out newfound independence and sometimes struggling against authority in really normal ways.

One way to help students improve their academic performance without sacrificing autonomy is to involve them in academic contracts. When you and a student sign an academic contract, you are agreeing to particular terms and goals. As with any contract, an academic contract should stipulate exactly what is expected from all parties involved.

Once you and a student sign an academic contract, it is up to all involved to uphold their end of the bargain. This may mean that you do not have to stay on top of students every minute, but instead you can remind them once in a while what they agreed to, and check in periodically to see whether the contract seems to be working.

Academic Contract Template

Here you will find a template for a standard academic contract for a middle school student. You will want to adjust this contract to meet the needs of your specific student. Each section includes a heading, a brief explanation, and an example.

Purpose

First, you will want to clearly and directly state the purpose of the contract. It is important that everyone understands exactly why the contract exists and why they are participating in it. For example:

The purpose of signing this contract is to ensure that David improves his math grades in time to pass seventh grade math and feel adequately prepared for math in eighth grade.

Student Expectations

In the next section of the contract, you should state what specific actions you expect of the student. This is done to ensure that he or she is able to comprehend the purpose of the contract. Be as clear and specific as possible. For example:

I, David, agree to the following terms.

  • I will attend math class every day unless I am ill.
  • I will raise my hand to participate at least twice during every math class, even if it is simply to ask questions.
  • I will complete my math homework every night to the best of my ability. If I do not understand the homework, I will stay after class to ask the teacher for help.
  • I will spend at least three hours a week on extra math work: studying and reviewing old assignments and notes.
  • I will complete my classwork neatly and efficiently.

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