I can't sleep. Why? School is about to start. On Monday, we open for the year and I am just too excited. And nervous. Are all the lockers assigned? Did each student receive their schedule? Are all the faculty ready to go? Are the halls appropriately decorated and looking spiffy? If I feel this way, I can only imagine what a student new to middle school must feel right now. Some may have a bit of trepidation, others feel excitement and it is likely even a few kids are laying in bed right now thinking about tomorrow morning with just a tiny bit of dread.
So, parents, this is really for the students: they may need a survival plan. If you look on page 12 of The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Middle School by David Borgenicht, you will see what I mean. For those who don't have a copy in their pocket at all times like I do, here are the big five things to remember. And if you think about it, your kids are already well on their way to completing the plan, making them more than ready to go. Take a look:
1. "Conduct an investigation" - They already toured the school, came to MS orientation and likely know some kids in their class. They have checked out the MPH website, had you come in and meet with me and set up their locker. This all should help keep the pre-game jitters at bay.
2. "Look great, feel great" - They know the dress code, correct? As long as they stick to the code, they will be fine by us and will look super on the first day. Let them give their clothes a test drive and be sure to not impose too much of what you think. Unless you happen to be David and Victoria Beckham. I didn't think so.
3. "Buddy Up" - They have their schedule, right? Your son or daughter should find out who is in their language and math class rotation if they haven't already. They can check out in the MS office who is at their lunch table too. These kids are the kids they will walk and talk with and can help them get from point A to point B throughout the first week.
4. "Map Quest" - I gave new families a map this summer when we met. Students can use that map to make a route from gym to history class and spot where the bathroom and the water fountains are. Key stuff for all middle schoolers.
5. "Imagine Success" - This one is important. Visualize, visualize and visualize again being a success in the Middle School. People need to see themselves happy, with friends and feeling good. This is THE most important thing to do at the start of the school year. The more positive you are in your mind, the more likely things will go well for you that first day.
That's it. Keep it simple. Be positive. Have a plan. Be ready to adjust. Connect with people. And remember, there is always an adult right around the corner to help. Let's have a great start to the new year!