Transitioning Into Middle School

Written by BFIS Staff

Transitioning into middle school can be a daunting experience for many students (and parents). Middle school is a time of great change and growth, both academically and socially. It is important for students to be prepared for the new challenges they will face in middle school, and to approach this transition with a positive attitude.

Academic Expectations

One of the biggest differences between elementary school and middle school is the increase in academic expectations. Students will be expected to take on more challenging coursework, manage their time more efficiently, and take responsibility for their own learning. 

It is helpful to start preparing for this transition before the first day of middle school. In fact, start now! Students can work on developing good study habits and time management skills, organization skills, and practice setting and achieving goals.

Middle School Classroom

Photo by Taylor Flowe 

Social Landscape

Another important aspect of the transition to middle school is navigating the social landscape. Students will be meeting new classmates and teachers. In 6th grade at BFIS, we average about 20 new students a year. The dynamics that existed in elementary school will change. 

There are many new opportunities to get to know other students, make new friends and get involved. It can be helpful for students to get involved in extracurricular activities, such as clubs or sports teams, in order to meet new people and find a sense of community.

Open Communication

During the transition to middle school, it is important for students to communicate openly with their parents and teachers. Teachers can also offer advice and support and can work with students to develop strategies for success. 

However, this can only happen when there is communication. At BFIS students go from having one teacher for all their English core classes to having four (4) teachers + Spanish teachers + electives + advisory teacher + PE + Wellbeing, etc. This can feel overwhelming to some students. 
Students who advocate for themselves, and ask for help if they do not understand something are most successful. Learning how to communicate with teachers will go a long way to being successful in school.

Top Tips For Students

Here are some of our TOP TIPS for how students can be successful in Middle School:

  • Develop good study habits  
  • Develop time management skills 
  • Get involved in extracurricular activities at BFIS and get to know other students
  • Be a buddy for a new student
  • Communicate with parents and teachers, and 
  • Maintain a positive mindset 

Top Tips For Parents

Parents are a valuable source of support and guidance during this time and can help their children navigate any challenges they may face. Here are some of our TOP TIPS for how to help your child as they transition into middle school:

  • Stay involved!
  • Help them develop organizational skills. Do not assume they know how to organize their work. They still need you. 
  • Sit down at least 1x/a week and review their Google Classroom, Class Charts, and PowerSchool together with their child. Ask them about what they are learning. Ask them to show you their work. Celebrate their achievements.  
  • Communicate with the teachers and counselor if you have any questions or concerns about your child
  • Create time every day to talk with your middle school child. Keep the lines of communication open so they know they can come to you if they need support or guidance. 
  • Be their number 1 fan. 

It is important for students to approach the transition to middle school with a positive attitude. While it can be a challenging time, it is also a time of great growth and opportunity. With the right mindset and preparation, students and parents can successfully transition to middle school and thrive academically and socially!

Brooke Fezler
BFIS Middle School Counselor

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