We are Middle Years Matter. Our mission is to empower middle school students, their families, and their teachers with the hope that our work will allow students to:
- Discover who they are both as learners and as curious individuals.
- Utilize effective organizational and academic skills to feel confident in and out of the classroom.
- Develop classroom confidence and leadership.
- Focus on wellness and individuality.We want students to feel good so that they can do well!
The Middle Years is a combination of 4 women and moms in the area!
An experienced Middle School teacher and administrator, Christine (CG) focuses on connecting with her students, understanding their stories, and supporting them through their Middle School years. Empathy and compassion for self and others play a huge role in her work.
Courtney is an energetic Middle School teacher and lacrosse coach. She enjoys inspiring her students and players to be confident leaders in the classroom and on the field. She especially loves to bring learning to life through creative hands-on experiences.
Lisa (LW) is a Middle School counselor, administrator, and wellness teacher. She loves trying new things and encourages students to do the same. Lisa believes when Middle School students explore their natural curiosity they are empowered to find their own voice.
Megan (MM) has been teaching for sixteen years and thinks that Middle School can be a weird, wacky, and wonderful time. Her specialty is in reading and writing instruction, and her favorite thing in the world is to match students with great books.
These four women make up The Middle Years and we are so happy to feature them!
Where are you originally from and how long have you been in Fairfield/ Fairfield County?
CG – I am originally from Orange, CT and have lived in Fairfield now for almost 4 years.
CD – I grew up in Darien, CT and have lived in Greenwich, Fairfield, and now Stamford for the past 7 years.
LW -I live in Rye, New York with my family. My husband and I met in Rye when I moved to town in the 5th grade.
MM – I grew up in Rye, New York, and I live there today with my family
Tell us about your Family!
CG – My husband, Mike and I are enjoying spending time with our little nugget, George who is 20 months and never stops moving!
CD – I am the only girl of four boys! I met my husband Eamon at one of my best friend’s 25th birthday parties in New York City in 2004 and we have been together ever since. We are both teachers and lacrosse coaches and have three boys, Declan, nine, and twins. Tiernan and Tristan, who are six. Our boys have endless energy and our house is always a mess. We love to have family movie nights with popcorn mixed with candy.
LW – My husband and I have two teenage boys. The oldest is 16 and our youngest is 14. Growing up I was one of two girls and so it has been an adventure for me to have two boys. We spend lots of time at hockey rinks and on the golf course. Our dog Rizzo brings us all a lot of joy.
MM – I met my husband on the Acela train up to Boston! After living in New York City for eight years, we moved to Rye with our first child. We now have three kids, Olivia, 8, Isabel, 5, and Finn, 2, and a great Labrador named Hazel.
One thing people would be surprised to know about you?
CG – I love to dance!
CD – I’ve been skydiving in New Zealand.
LW – People are often surprised that I met my husband in the 5th grade.
MM – I am absolutely terrified of mice, hamsters, and guinea pigs.
One thing you wish someone would have told you about motherhood?
CG – That it really takes a village and when you need help, ask for it and accept it.
CD -You really don’t sleep for the first 10 years.
LW – You’ve got this!
MM – The days are long, but the years are very, very short. Also, everything is a stage and everything passes, for better or worse.
I remember some of the challenges that my kids faced in elementary and middle school and in some ways it felt like those challenges would last forever. And now, I see that challenges also lead to opportunities and growth. So I guess I would have liked to have been told that challenges are part of life, necessary, and can even lead to success.
What’s your favorite thing about raising a family in Fairfield County?
CG – I love being a part of a community that is so kid friendly. There are so many fun things to do outside here with my babe, and the people are so nice!
CD -I love being close to my family. My parents are still in Darien, my sister and sister-in law are in Stamford, and a lot of my friends from growing up still live in Fairfield County.
LW – I love living in a community filled with family and friends. I feel so blessed to have a place where my family can be outside, try new things, learn, and explore.
MM – I love living near the beach.
Best mom hack that makes your life easier?
CG – Snacks!
CD – I always overpack. I try to have spare clothes, wipes, purell, first aid kit, food and drinks in the car. If I have it they won’t need it, but whenever I don’t bring it all, someone needs it!
LW – Letting my kids do as much as they can for themselves.
MM – Snacks! And making sure my kids do something physical everyday- they are better behaved when they do!
Best advice for moms who experience the inevitable MOM GUILT handling a career and raising a family?
CG – I like to think of George watching me do all of this. I want him to see that a mom/woman can have a career, can be a good mom, and also can take time for herself. I want him to be inspired by that, so sometimes thinking of him seeing me do all of that helps me.
CD – I like my boys to see me being passionate about my career, working hard, being creative, trying something new, helping others, and following my dreams. I hope I will inspire them to do the same.
LW – I think that if you are happy, fulfilled, and meeting your own needs that it sets you up for greater success as a parent.
MM – There is absolutely no right way to raise your family, and every family looks different. For me, it’s important for my kids to see me working. I want them to watch me challenge myself, fail, and try again. I hope they grow to be adults to follow their dreams, take on challenges, and never give up.
Who has most influenced you to be the mom that you are today?
CG – My mom.
CD – My mom and my grandmothers. All of them were working moms. My mom and my dad’s mom both had their own flower businesses, and my mom’s mom raised four children on her own and became the postmaster of Greens Farms.
LW – My mom and my dad as well as my sister.
MM – My mom and dad, for different reasons.
What advice would you share with a new mom or other moms?
CG – Surround yourself with people who lift you up, who teach you things, who support you, and who love you.
CD – Get the snot sucker, woombie, and join a new mom’s group. I really enjoyed being with other moms who were going through the same experience as me. Especially moms of twins.
LW – Be kind to yourself.
MM – The first year or two can feel really lonely, and it might take a while to find your people. But don’t worry- it will happen for you!
Tell us about your business! How did the 4 of you come up with this idea and who handles what?
The four of us – Christine, Courtney, Lisa, and Megan – all worked together for years at a middle school in Greenwich. Last spring, we decided to follow our dreams and our passion for middle school life and founded √ MYM. We are a group of highly experienced educators, administrators, and coaches. We are also moms with a mission to help students discover who they are both as learners and as curious individuals. We all do a lot for this business and help each other with everything. The most challenging part for us all was to learn to be business women and teachers at the same time! Courtney is our mastermind behind the website and also keeps us on our toes with our expenses and taxes. Christine focuses on our social media and outreach. Megan and Lisa take the lead on the lesson planning. And we all teach our workshops because that’s what we love to do most of all!
How do people find out more information about The middle years?
You can find out more about Middle Years Matter on our website www.middleyearsmatter.com or follow us on instagram @middlyearsmatter_ We love posting helpful tips for middle school families and connecting with our community of teachers, parents, teams, and even middle schoolers themselves. We also have all of our events and offerings posted on our website and insta as well, so you can stay up to date with what’s going on with us!
Tell us about the different services that you offer?
The goal of our workshops is to teach middle school students to discover who they are, how to take care of their brains, and how to utilize simple techniques to make learning and preparation fun and effective. Workshops include activities in executive functioning, critical thinking and problem solving, social and emotional learning, communication with teachers, study strategies, and more!
Private Student Workshops
Gather your own group of students for tailored instruction across a variety of academic, organizational, and socio-emotional skills. Private workshops have included Back-to-School Organization, Study Strategies for Final Exams, Communication and Self-advocacy, and Summer Reading Book Clubs.
MYM works in schools to offer programs in problem solving, collaboration, positive peer relationships, organization, and study strategies. Our programs are flexible to become after-school clubs, integrated into the curriculum, or featured as special programs.
Our parent zoom workshops offer tips and strategies on how parents can best support their middle schoolers and help navigate these “messy” years. Our parent workshops also offer a safe space for parents to connect, reflect, and ask questions.
Our teacher workshops are designed to help educators reflect, focus, energize, excite, and provide ideas and suggestions on how to utilize our MYM techniques and strategies with your students.
We believe in the power of learning together, and our goal is to set you up for success in the classroom. You will leave with specific tools to help you achieve your goals.
Sports Team Building Workshops
This workshop is specifically geared to the importance of how to be a “good teammate.” Young athletes today need to learn how to work together in order to be more successful as a team and in life. This workshop teaches crucial skills such as communication, collaboration, and leadership through activities, games, and visualization.
We love supporting local businesses – favorite places in Fairfield to…
Have Dinner with Family:
Centro, Sammy’s Pizza, Bodega, Colony
Grab a Drink with Friends:
Old Post Tavern
Have a Date Night:
Spend time together as a Family:
Saugatuck Sweets, Veterans Park, any of the awesome beaches!
Penfield Beach playground, anything with Fit4Mom Fairfield, Lake Mohegan