Dear Dish-It: New Schools & Middle Schools
Lots of KW kids have asked Dish-It questions about going to a new school or entering a new middle school. Here’s some info that can help ease your nerves and jitters and help you out in the transition to your new school.
How do I fit in with everyone at a new school? – bri60318
I’m moving to a new house and I’m worried about moving schools. Any advice for me? – silverflash
My parents are moving me to a new school when I’m happy where I am. But then again I really want to go to junior high. What do I do? – ashlynchris101
Having to go to a brand-new school is something that would make anyone feel nervous and worried. Luckily, once you get the first day over with you’ll realize it wasn’t as bad as you thought it would be. Here are some tips to make your first day at a new school a little easier:
- The first day is a great time to make new friends – say hi to the kids you know and introduce yourself to the ones you don’t
- If you get to choose desks, write down where your seat is so you don’t forget
- Wear your favorite outfit to put a spring in your step and show off your personal style
- Make sure you’re ready and have all the supplies you’ll need
- Take a bit of money with you just in case
- Pack your backpack the night before to prevent morning panic
- Write notes to yourself throughout the day to remember where your classes are and what your schedule is like
- Give yourself time to get adjusted to school – it may take more than one day and that’s OK
- Get plenty of sleep the night before
- Eat a healthy breakfast before you leave for school
- Pay close attention to what your teachers have to say about classroom rules
What do I do before starting middle school? – action123
I’m scared for middle school – help!
It’s called middle school because it's in the middle of your school years. Elementary school is behind you. High school and college await. Middle school often includes sixth, seventh and eighth grades, but you might go to middle school earlier or later depending on how it's done in your area.
For most kids going to middle school is a big change. It often means moving to a new building, which takes some time to adjust to. It may mean taking a different bus with different students. And the friends you made in elementary school may end up going to different middle schools. All that can make you feel a bit scared on the first day of school.
Other things that probably will be different are the teachers and the work. Have you heard rumors that middle school teachers are really mean and the homework is really, really hard? They're generally not true. Your homework will get more challenging but that's not necessarily a bad thing. You're growing up and you get to build on all that learning you already did in elementary school. You'll also probably be learning some new and different stuff in middle school like foreign languages, more advanced courses in computer technology, music and art, health and life skills. On top of that middle school will probably offer new teams, clubs and activities you can join.
If you’re still worried, there are things you can do to prepare yourself for your first day. Most middle schools have orientation day for students who will be attending in the fall. Orientation is a day when you tour the school and get a little information about what it will be like to go there. Another great way to get oriented is to attend a concert or sporting event at your new school and talk to friends who already go there. Ask them about any problems they had and ask if they could help you if you need it when you get there.
It also might help if your mom or dad drove you to the school in the summertime. You might see sports teams practicing outside and just get a flavor of the place. It's also good to get an idea of where it is in your area.
Read any materials you get at orientation or that arrive by mail in the summer. Are there books you need to read or supplies you have to buy? You'll also want to figure out what time school starts and what time the bus will pick you up if you take one. Then you can decide what time you'll need to wake up. You also might want to find out when lunch is. If it's later than usual you might want to pack a snack. Also think about what you'll wear. Choose something that you like and feel comfortable in.
Try to get a good night's sleep even if you're so excited you don't think you can. Before bed lay out all your stuff so you don't forget anything. Set your alarm but tell your mom or dad when you need to get up in case you sleep right through it.
On the big day, eat breakfast and be brave. If you don’t eat before you leave for school you'll feel terrible by mid-morning just when you need your energy and brain power to navigate your new school. On your way out the door, take everything you need and try to remember that this is a big adventure. Check in with friends you know and try to be brave and say hi to other new kids.
In class listen to what the teacher says and take notes because it's hard to remember everything. Try to write down the important stuff like your locker combination and your homeroom number. Then you can look it over when you get home and be prepared for Day 2.
When you've been at your school for a whole week, it's time to give yourself a round of applause. You've probably absorbed a ton of new information in a short amount of time. You probably know your locker combination, where your assigned seat is in all your classes, where the bathrooms are and how to get to the cafeteria. Do you still get lost on the way to gym? If so, find a buddy who goes to gym at the same time and walk together.
If you find you're having trouble with schoolwork or friends don't panic but do get help. Just like in elementary school, ask the teacher for extra help after class if you don't understand something you're learning. You also might have study halls in middle school; these free periods are great for talking to a teacher or getting a jump on your homework. Also talk to your mom or dad if you're having trouble with your classes. It could be that you're just a little rusty after that long summer, but if your problems don't go away, you'll want to talk to the teacher or school counselor.
Remember, middle school is a good time to make new connections and new friends. Sometimes it's easy to make a new friend. You might meet the first day and then hang out all year long. But it can also go more slowly, especially if it seems like a lot of kids are already hanging out together in groups that don't include you. Let someone know how it's going for you. Talk to your mom, dad, or a school counselor if you're feeling lonely and it's not getting any better.
To feel less lonely and make friends try joining a club, sport or activity. It's a great way to get to know kids you don't know yet. Being in these groups also can help you feel more at home at your school.