Middle School Transition Tag Cloud

Making the Transition to Middle School:
How Mentoring Can Help

Source: Mentoring Resource Center Fact Sheet, No. 24, September, 2008

Every year, millions of elementary  school students across the country take the big leap to middle school. Students look forward to this transition as a stepping-stone toward adulthood, a move to increasing independence, and an opportunity to redefine themselves in new surroundings. At the same time, many are apprehensive about this step into the unknown, to new and more complicated social situations, increased academic pressure and more teachers to deal with, and a seemingly vast array of opportunities to succeed or fail.

These worries are very real. Most elementary school students are leaving a school structure in which they have only one or two teachers each year, where they are the oldest students in the school, and where they may know many teachers and students well. By contrast, middle school may appear huge and complex, full of unknown  hazards and new responsibilities. Students preparing to enter middle school voice such concerns as having  too much homework, not being able to keep grades up, getting lost in the school, being around older kids who might bully them, being tardy to class, having to make new friends, and not knowing the rules.
Developmentally, these young adolescents are experiencing a rapid series of changes in all areas: physical, intellectual, social, emotional, and moral. They increasingly rely on their peers for support and advice but often lack the ability to use sound judgment in making moral and social choices. They are highly sensitive to criticism and are easily embarrassed. While they are generally eager for more independence and autonomy, and look forward to middle school as an opportunity to spread their wings, they may not be ready to navigate its more complex environment.


Transition to Middle School (ehow.com)
Step by step instructions on how to prepare your child for a smooth transition to middle school, including worksheets and study tools to practice good habits. This entire site has great resources.

Making the Transition (scholastic.com)
Tips on what you can do as a parent/mentor to the child transitioning in school, adolescence, and social life. There are many transitions happening at this time, and this site contains great tips.

Back to School Talk” (imom.com)
This page contains brief blog articles that can help both parents and mentors initiate a conversation with their child or mentee about going back to school.

Transition to Middle School (nea.org)
This article talks about the significance of programs for parents and students to participate in before transitioning to middle school. Check with your schools and teachers if there are any programs to make the transition more smooth and less stressful.

Making the Transition (scholastic.com)
Tips on setting up organizational skills for the parents, students, and mentors.


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Tips for Mentors: Preparing Mentees for Middle School

This article contains tips from a Mentoring Resource Center Fact Sheet for mentors to help your mentee prepare for the transition to Middle School. This fact sheet summarizes some of the issues facing students moving from elementary to middle school and describes how maintaining a mentoring relationship during this critical time can provide significant support. It also offers suggestions for program staff on how to maintain and support matches during these transitions and tips for mentors on how to help mentees move into middle school with confidence.

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