Getting the Most

How to Get the MOST out of Middle School

Step One: Know Your School

  • School calendars have important dates & events
  • Learn the attendance & tardy policies
  • Learn about required and elective courses offered at school
  • Schools need rules and policies to run safely; know them and follow them.
  • Where do I go for assistance?  There are teachers, counselors, administrators, office staff available to assist.

Step Two: Be in school every day

  • Good attendance will not guarantee you good grades.  You are, however, pretty much guaranteed to get bad grades if you have bad attendance.

Step Three: Know how to get good grades

  • Be organized; use a student planner or assignment notebook
  • Manage your time well
  • Take good notes
  • Know how to read a textbook
  • Study smart
  • Use test-taking strategies (teachers will help you learn these techniques)

Step four: Set Goals

  • It is important for people of all ages to have goals
  • Set short-term goals
  • Example: “Get a B on my next Social Studies test.” or ” Get all of my chores done by Friday.”
  • Set long-term goals
  • Example: “Get all A’s & B’s on my report card this quarter.”  or  “Go to college and become a lawyer.”
  • Set goals that are specific, measurable, and realistic.
  • Set both school and personal goals
  • Write the goal

Step five: Get Involved

  • Participate in school activities
  • Get involved in activities outside of school

Step six: Make Good Choices and Decisions

  • You must “own” your behavior.

Step seven: Deal with Stress, Anger, and Bullies

  • Getting enough sleep, eatting right, and getting plenty of exercise will help you deal with stress.
  • If you find yourself getting angry talk with a friend, parent, or counselor.  It may also help if you close your eyes, breathe deeply, and count to 10 or 20.  I often tell students to go “kick a rock” not hit or say something you may regret.
  • In middle school, you’ll probably run into some students who act like jerks.  You may also see a few students who are more than jerks – they are bullies.  A bully is looking for a reaction, so if you’re ever the target of a bully, ignore him/her, or give this person a look and tell them to stop; then walk away.
  • If you’re having a problem with a bully, let your friends know and also tell your parent, counselor, and/or a teacher.

Step eight: Get Along with Your Parents

  • Getting along with your parents will make your middle school years a lot easier and a lot more fun.  Talk to your parents about what’s happening in school and about what you and your friends are doing.  Communicate!  Communicate!

Step nine: Understand the Social Scene

  • Middle school students are a lot more interested and involved in social activities than elementary students.  During these years, there are parties, dances, cliques, boyfriends, girlfriends, and a lot more gossip.  Students care about what other students do and wear, and everyone is worried about how they look.
  • The middle school social scene can be exciting, crazy, and sometimes difficult to deal with.  Here are some suggestions on how to deal with it:
  • Find friends that you have things in common with and who like you for who you are.
  • Go out of your way to be friendly.
  • Don’t do something that isn’t you just to be cool.
  • Be careful what you say.

Step ten: Plan and Prepare for Your Future

  • Now is a good time to start thinking about what kind of career you might want to have.
  • Seven Career Areas: 1) Business, 2) Health Care, 3) Skilled Trades, 4) High Tech/Computers, 5) The Arts, 6) Education, 7) Human Services