Making the Transition to Middle School
Guest Blog by Carla Thomas, Counselor, Rothschild Leadership Academy
The jump from elementary to middle school is a big step on the road to your child’s maturity.
Starting middle school is an exciting time for parents and students. It means that your kids are getting older and that they are becoming more independent. But it can also be a time when both you and your child are feeling nervous about the challenges that may lie ahead. Here are some suggestions to help you and your child navigate the transition smoothly:
Parents as Partners
As students transition to middle school, it is important that parents partner with the school to help students achieve success throughout their middle school years. You can help by:
- Getting involved
- Creating supervised study times for your child
- Checking your child’s progress periodically
- Encouraging your child to ask for help when needed
- Allowing your child to gain a sense of responsibility and independence
- Communicating with the administration, counselors and teachers
3 Tips for Student Success
No matter what kind of middle school your child attends, one thing always remains the same about this important step-up — it’s a chance for adventure and to start with a clean slate. Here are three tips for student success:
1. Get Organized – Use an agenda or assignment book to keep track of when assignments and projects are due. (Make sure you take it to every class.) Keep a separate folder or notebook for each class. Keep your locker neat. Get everything organized for the next day before you go to bed. Check your assignment book to make sure you finished all assignments that are due the next day. Pack your book bag after you finish your homework. Get your clothes ready before you go to bed.
2. Get Involved – Being involved is a great way to make new friends and have fun, so join a team or a club!
3. Know the Rules – All students are expected to follow the rules and restrictions as set forth in the Behavior Code and Discipline Policy of your school district. Here are a list of behaviors that may require the administration to take disciplinary action:
- Violation of cell phone policy and electronic devices
- Violation of Dress code
- Class/School disruption
- Gang activity
In Muscogee County, bullying is defined as unwanted, aggressive behavior that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. Gang activity is defined as an association of three or more individuals who identify themselves by a common name, slogan, symbol, tattoo, graffiti, haircuts, etc.
Resources for Middle School Parents and Students
Books for Parents/ Students:
- The Everything Tween Book: A Parent’s Guide to Surviving the Turbulent Years by Linda Sonna
- The Roller-Coaster Years by Charlene C. Gianetti
- **The Pact by Dr. Rameck Hunt, Dr. Sampson Davis, and Dr. George Jenkins
- **The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey
** Books that can be enjoyed by students and parents
Websites for Parents:
- Parenting a Preteen ~ http://www.pamf.org/preteen/parents/parenting.html
- Transitioning to Middle School ~ http://www.greatschools.org/special-education/health/980-smoothing-your-childs-transition-to-middle-school.gs
Questions or Concerns:
If you have questions or concerns, talk to your school’s counselor. School counselors are available to partner with parents to ensure that your child is successful in middle school. Rest assured that middle school administration, counselors and teachers are sensitive to your needs and are dedicated to ensuring that your child has a smooth transition.
Photo credit: istockphoto.com