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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

Middle School

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.

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Dear Dish-It In The Forums

rainbowpoptart
Yes, purely for the fact that you should not "hate" your sister (or anyone, for that matter).  I'm guessing by "get in trouble for her", you mean she does something wrong and the blame is all put on you? Yeah, little siblings tend to do that a lot. My brother did for the longest time, until my parents found out how much a liar he is. She, hopefully, will grow out of this eventually. Either that, or your parent[s]/guardian[s] will eventually see through her. You lose your friends to her? By this do you mean your friends want to hang out with her and they want you to tag along and you don't? Or do you mean your friends chose your sister over you? If it's the latter, then perhaps you shouldn't have ever referred to those people as friends. You'll find friends who'll prefer you over your sister, I'm sure of it. The only thing I can tell you to do is try to get along with your sister. Every group of siblings has their cats and dogs moment in life, but they grow out of it (most of the time; there are, of course, circumstances where it doesn't work out that way). Please be grateful for your sister, even if you two fight a lot. You never know how much you need something until it's gone.
reply about 10 hours
liddielover
i hate my little sister because i get introuble for her and lose my friends to her.is that wrong?
reply about 11 hours
skylar245
skylar245 posted in Friends:
"rainbowpoptart" wrote: "skylar245" wrote: Teacher said to wait for the Bus Driver and the counselor, she just talks to me and doesn't tell The Princible Then maybe try telling the principal yourself, and you should also report that the driver, teacher, and counselor haven't done anything to help you. If that fails, tell another trusted adult, like your mother. I'm sure someone you're close to would do their best to get justice. This is a major problem and it's a shame no one's done anything to help. ​No one listens to me anyway but my friends
reply 2 days
rainbowpoptart
rainbowpoptart posted in Friends:
"skylar245" wrote:Teacher said to wait for the Bus Driver and the counselor, she just talks to me and doesn't tell The Princible Then maybe try telling the principal yourself, and you should also report that the driver, teacher, and counselor haven't done anything to help you. If that fails, tell another trusted adult, like your mother. I'm sure someone you're close to would do their best to get justice. This is a major problem and it's a shame no one's done anything to help.
reply 2 days
skylar245
skylar245 posted in Friends:
"rainbowpoptart" wrote: "skylar245" wrote: My bus driver does NOTHING about it EVEN IF HE SEE'S IT! he only wrote the two girls up but not the girl that hit me Then report them to a teacher or the school counselor. Behaviour like that is not acceptable in the slightest. ​Teacher said to wait for the Bus Driver and the counselor, she just talks to me and doesn't tell The Princible
reply 2 days