Middle School Success:
If you could go back to middle school, would you? Most adults wouldn’t! Think about it: challenging peer groups, different teachers and classmates at least 8 times a day, figuring out what each teacher expects from you and how to act around various peers of varying degrees of social status? No wonder middle schoolers sleep until noon on the weekends. It’s exhausting!
Despite all of the overwhelming factors, middle school can also be an exciting time. Not only do middle schoolers learn new independent skills, but they are also given more responsibility. Teachers’ expectations are higher, peer situations are evolving, and school work is escalating. We want to ensure that our kids are prepared to head into middle school with confidence and realistic expectations for the upcoming school year. Here are a few tips to help your child make the transition to middle school a positive and successful experience.
Organization and Executive Functioning Skills
- Buy an assignment notebook and write down the assignments before leaving each class (Don’t wait until the end of the day)
- Use colorful binders that coordinate with notebooks (One for each subject)
- Find a place in your home for homework each night (Keep things in the same place)
- Prioritize homework assignments for that night (Don’t skip instructions)
- Time Management (Make sure you have enough time to do your homework before and after school activities, relaxation time, dinner, and bedtime)
- Put papers away after finishing them (where they are supposed to go)
- After completing assignments, put folders and notebooks back in backpack right away (Don’t wait ’til later)
Asking for Help (Self-advocating)
- Talk with your teacher if you don’t understand something (Teachers are more willing to help you with homework when you ask them questions instead of skipping the assignment)
- Use I-statements when asking questions (e.g. I feel confused because I don’t understand the homework instead of- You didn’t explain it).
- If you are worried about asking a teacher in person, write a note or email your question or concern to your teacher
Peer Interactions (How to Make and Keep Friends)
- Keep inviting peers to engage in activities (not excluding others)
- Showing positivity towards others
- Respecting everyone’s personal space and understanding boundaries
- Listening to what that person is saying without being distracted
- Stop and think before acting or saying something
- Show empathy towards peers
- Don’t post information on social media that is disrespectful to peers
- Don’t gossip, start drama, or bully kids
Remember, middle school doesn’t have to be as scary as it may seem. Use these preventive strategies to start your journey on a positive note!