I have been dreading these middle school years for my oldest. They were tough, rocky years for me and I sure didn't want that for her. Some stuff they just have to go through, that is for sure. Can't protect them forever, even though you want to.
Last night was the orientation for the parents; a Q&A with teachers, administrators and, best of all, some of the middle school kids.
The principal assured all us involved parents that they still want parental volunteers. Please, please, volunteer. So that was nice to know.
They had coordinated a panel of mentors, who were 7th graders, to discuss the 5th/6th grade transition. They stood out front and met (shaking hands! and surprisingly good grips!) with each parent as they arrived giving them an agenda of the evening. It was a little disconcerting to see kids that I had known from our multi-age class (1st, 2nd, 3rd grades) wearing make-up and curving out.
Each mentor took a turn talking about a fear as they were transitioning into 6th grade and a hi-point. It was the cutest darn thing I have seen in a while. Nervous giggles, wiggling feets, embarressed, blushing cheeks but managing to be really poised all the while.
Couldn't find their class, getting lost
Not being able to open their locker
Getting picked on, bullying
Too much homework
Not being able to make friends
Having to get up really early
They assured us that non of their fears came to pass. Except having to get up early! Middle school and high school starts at 7:36 AM!
One kid said she used to want to stay up late and nagged her parents to be able to. Now, she says sleep is sacred and she willing goes to bed at 8:30. Yow!
Everything, I suspect, a parent would want to hear. But, it was a very sweet look into their heads and hearts.
I shook hands with a particularly engaging Humanities teacher, "I think we are going to get along just fine." I gave him a thumbs up sign.
I think/hope we are going to be just fine.