Elementary to Middle School Transition: Teaching Students how to Navigate through First Day Chaos

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Making the transition from elementary to middle school can be overwhelming for students not prepared for the dramatic change. Dealing with multiple teachers, multiple assignments and multiple expectations can frighten any 5th or 6th grader entering into middle school.

Unlike elementary school, a student has to become familiar with the 6 or more teachers as well as the expectations of these educators.  No longer will he or she have the luxury of fulfilling the assignments of just one teacher but now he or she will be required to complete several assignments as well as the homework that goes with them.

Therefore the volume of homework increases and the pressure of getting it down for many new teachers demands focus and greater commitment.

However, administrators and teachers can train 5th and 6th graders the art of making a smooth transition to middle school before the end of the elementary school year.

Transitional training is very important.  Without it, students stand the chance of starting the first-day middle school in an atmosphere of chaos and confusion.  Beginning the school year with uncertainty can be traumatizing for some students.

Things Pre-Middle Schoolers Need to Have and Know

Classroom Schedule-the first priority in any transition is to know where to go. Students must know what classrooms to which they are assigned. The room number and location are very important for getting to their destination in time

Time management skills-effective transition requires good timeliness.  Students must be taught not to waste time getting to their classes in the 5 to 6 minutes allowed.

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Knowledge of Middle school supplies-5th and 6th graders need to understand that school supplies and materials are different from those used in elementary schools.

Middle school teacher expectations-pre-middle schoolers need to know what their new teachers expect for them. The opportunity to meet their new teachers beforehand is a winning move.

First Day Tips for a Successful Middle School Transition

The first day of classes can be frightened for new middle schoolers, especially if they are unfamiliar with the multiple classes for which they cannot be tardy. However, being prepared will allow students to experience the first day without too much stress.

Be Clear regarding Destination

It is important for students to be clear about where they need to be at the right time. Getting this necessity right will set the course for the entire school year.  Don’t make it a habit of being late for classes. Such is a sign of poor focus and responsibility.

Be Patience with Mistakes

New teachers will have a degree of leniency on the first day of classes. So if a student does make the mistake of arriving to class late due to going to the wrong class, then he or she may be excused by that particular middle school teacher.

Avoid Visiting Friends on the way to classes

One surefire timewaster is holding irrelevant conversations with friends while going to classes. Such behavior interferes with the time allotted to make it to class in time and be prepared for instruction and expectations from new teachers.

Enjoy Your New Middle School Journey

Enjoy the fact that you are now in middle school with new responsibilities.  No more elementary! However, time will go fast. High school is just around the corner. So take advantages of every day as a middle schooler.  Success here will determine your readiness for the last for years of your school-age years.

Appreciate all Your Teachers

New middle school students should appreciate all their teachers. Some may be tall; others may be short. Some may be serious; others may be humorous. The bottom line is that all of your teachers have something significant to add to your education as well as your personal life.

Ask lots of Questions

Middle school students should ask as many questions as possible to achieve clarity from their new teachers. Don’t be afraid. Ask questions about overall expectations and behavior, needed classroom supplies, important lesson assignments or topics, and scheduled field trips.

Write down the responses in notebooks and keep track of important milestones during your first of going in and out of multiple classrooms and conversing with multiple teachers.

Be Dedicated to Academic Achievement

It is critical for middle schoolers to dedicate themselves to academic excellence throughout middle school. Such commitment will greatly enhance their preparedness for high school and put them in a position to receive scholarships for their college journey.

Academic achievement must become the first priority. Students must be willing to limit the time of all play and lack of focus, both at school and at home.  So be ready to move forward on the first day of class.

Moving from one classroom to another will seem overwhelming at first, but with practice and consistency, a student will learn quite quickly that the task is simple as long as he or she stays focus on getting from one place to the other.

Going to middle school can be one joyous adventure for a student who desires to present their best selves and prepare themselves for the future.