BACK TO SCHOOL AUTHORITY: Tips for adjusting to middle school

Tips for adjusting to middle school
Published: Aug. 16, 2022 at 8:38 PM EDT
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(WFSB) - This week Eyewitness News is getting advice on how to help students who are going to school for the first time or moving from one school to another.

Tuesday we’re focusing on helping kids transition from elementary to middle school.

It can be challenging.

It’s not just the next grade. It’s a new building, a new time of day, a different routine with more freedom, and more responsibilities.

It’s the good, and scary all mixed into a wild ride.

“This is going to be a bit of a roller coaster. Because there is so much going on. So if you can bring in a little humor, you’ll be better equipped to handle things coming your way,” said Sandy Chafouleas, UConn Distinguished Prof. of Education.

Middle school students are given more independence, asked to make more decisions, and given more complex tasks, which brings feelings of maturity but will also be met with the struggle of a necessary challenge.

“Each child develops at an individual rate so it’s important to help them get set up with structure in advance so work on an organizational system not just the agenda given at school. That’s coming home,” Chafouleas said.

The social side is equally large and important. You have to add a re-adjustment period from the virtual learning that was needed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Just even learning how to work in groups, and walking the hallways and regain some of the social loss that they had,” said Amiee Terosky, Professor of Education at Saint Joseph’s University.

Parents, keep in mind you can be there in close, but not too close proximity to provide assistance.

“You still need to be there to guide and help set boundaries but you have to increasingly give them more choice,” said Terosky.

Tips for students

  1. Organize daily assignments,
  2. Get to know your school Counselor and support staff
  3. Re-define Yourself (work styles, social and fashion styles)

Tips for Parents

  1. Teach independence
  2. Set up a check of Agenda
  3. Encourage expansion and inclusion

Kids, get yourself together, and organize.

Meet the adults at school that are there to help and expand your social circles.

For parents, allow your children to make more decisions, but check up on their structure and let the reins go a little bit as they get older and want some freedoms.