Surviving the Start of Middle School

Back to School...Or Is It

Middle School Learning Resilience


The end of Summer is code to most youth for returning to school. This bittersweet shift brings more structure, learning, and peer interaction. It also can bring about a bit of stress, for both youth and adults.

What we consider “heading back to school” at the end of the Summer might not be that straightforward. For example, the students who are transitioning from elementary to middle school are not going “back” to a place, but rather, to a new form of school. As adults who have been there and done that, it might not seem like a big deal. Then again, it might seem like a huge deal to some parents, who are aware that their children are finally growing up! Either way, there are some things to be aware of as students head to Middle School.

• Your student’s grades might drop toward the beginning of the school year. As your students adapts to new expectations and demands of school, their grades might reflect this.

• Your student might lose interest in school: increased peer interaction and a more structured environment, focused on task-completion, might deplete your student’s motivation.

• Your student might exhibit more self-doubt: Increased competition along with puberty can make youth feel awkward. They are also now the youngest students in the school, with older students as models of comparison.

The same can be said of transitioning from Middle School to High School. Keep in mind that your job as a teacher, mentor, parent, guardian, or friend will continue to be important, even though the way you do your job might change. To help your student, you can:

• Be patient! Take this as an opportunity to remember how you respond to changes in your life, or even to re-visit what Middle School was like for you.

• Ask questions. Remember that your student will be having his or her own experiences, and in a time that is likely different from when you were in school. You may be out of school, but you can keep learning from your Middle Schooler, too.

• Take time to participate in discussions with your student, and about your student, by utilizing resources and meetings. Asking about handbooks, attending school events, and engaging in conversations can be valuable tools.

If you are interested in learning about how School to Career Progressions can help teach your student valuable skills to prepare them for success in school and life, check out the home page at

Progressions Admin
Progressions Admin