Transition…”Do I have to???”

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As April vacation was coming to an end, I realized how little time I have left with my cherubs until they enjoy their summer vacations.  This also means it’s a time for helping them transition to the high school…”that big, scary place where I will get lost!”

There are several different times when transitions affect our students: school to school (primary to intermediate; intermediate to middle; or middle to high school) and one grade to another.Many of our students feel anxious about these changes, because it means having to learn a new system of rules and procedures.  Some do this seamlessly, others, not so much.

As an 8th grade teacher, I can’t speak to all of the attempts our schools do to make the transition a bit easier for our incoming 6th graders, but I can tell you how our 8th graders are eased into the process.  In the fall, we take them to a production of the high school play.  Then at our school in the spring , the high school guidance counselors introduce themselves and the “Program of Studies” options for students.  Next we take them on a tour of our regional technology center (of course, introducing the teachers there) and to lunch in the cafeteria (a much different experience than at the middle school).  There’s a parent meeting held in the evening, since parents also need assistance in this process.  And lastly, the week before school starts, an orientation day is held where students get their schedules (locker info is on them, so students make sure they work and can get into them) and practice traveling from one classroom to another during their typical day.

Therefore, I’m curious what your schools do to help students and parents move from school to school and/or grade to grade with ease.

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