Why Middle School Sucks for Most Students
My name is Jessie, I’m SOAR® Learning’s Marketing Systems Engineer, and I vividly recall the first days of middle school. Like many students’ first experience…it sucked! Here’s why…
Like lots of students I loved fifth grade, being the oldest and coolest kids in school was so fun. My teacher cared about me, I had known my friends for years, and I had been sitting at the same lunch table since I was 5 years old. Everything was smooth sailing.
Then, like all students, I had to move on, and that meant I was going to the bottom of the food chain. I first started getting nervous when I went school shopping with my mom and noticed the amount of different binders, notebooks, dividers and labels I needed. How could I keep all this stuff together? I was only 11-years-old!
Before I knew it, summer was over, and it was time for my first day of middle school. I had loaded my backpack with all my supplies and my mom attached it to the back of my awkward, growing body. And she sent me off with a “goodbye” and a “good luck”.
My bus route had changed; the friends that I normally rode with to school were assigned to the other middle schools in my district. So I sat there focusing on how nervous I was. Practicing my locker comb in my head, attempting to memorize my schedule, and trying to figure out how the whole changing-classes thing was going to work.
I walk in the building and every memory from orientation vanishes. I had no idea where I was going. A teacher in the hallway notices the lost puppy dog look on my face and directs me to the 6th grade locker pod.
I find my locker number and attempt to get it open. My weeks of practice on a combination lock at home did me no good; I couldn’t get my locker open. I heard the warning bell signifying 5 minutes until class and was still spinning that thing around.
I was now on the verge of tears. I had always been a good student and the thought of being late to my first day of class was horrifying. I then heard the bell for the start of class. Everyone was gone, it was just me and my locker. This was middle school. There was no teacher like my 5th grade one to help me and to realize I was missing. No one knew who I was.
Finally a janitor noticed me and came to my rescue with a key to open my locker. My problems were not over. I then had to figure out which binder went with which class, while worrying about the location of my first class.
By some miracle I found the classroom. I shuffled to the back of the classroom as everyone stared at me. I sat down and had the biggest realization of them all.
“I have to pay attention and try and learn something, I almost forgot”! The stress of all the changes from elementary to middle school almost made me forget that I was actually supposed to be retaining knowledge.
The multiple binders, folders, and notebooks (disorganization disguised as supposed organization) caused not only a headache, but caused me to lose focus on the important stuff. Instead I was focused on where I was going next and how I was going to continue to do this all day.
It doesn’t have to be this way! Had I only been using one binder for all of my stuff and a planner to help me keep track of assignments, tests, and homework, it would have made my first day (and the rest of the year) run a lot smoother.
I needed one place for me to write down all of my assignments. It’s not like elementary school where the teacher would constantly remind everyone of the few homework assignments. Now, I needed a method that would help me keep track and prioritize my assignments.
I needed one binder to hold all my work for all of my classes. If I knew where everything was, my transition between classes would have been smoother. My communication with my teachers would have been easier, and I am sure I would have saved my parents a couple headaches when I couldn’t finding my homework or left a notebook in my locker.
Unfortunately there wasn’t an easy solution when I was in middle school. But now there is…
SOAR® makes curriculum for schools that teaches students how to deal with the issues that made middle school suck for me! The SOAR® Soft Skills Curriculum covers all of the problems that students face in this transition period. Then it gives them clear, easy-to-follow solutions.
If your student’s school does not use the SOAR® curriculum, you can still help your student get ahead! SOAR® offers School Success Kits based on the same principals. It is easy to setup, and students are prepared for success on day 1!
Don’t let middle school suck! Implement a solution before the problems evolve. Help your new middle schooler succeed!
Data from hundreds of students using SOAR® study skills strategies average an increase in GPA of more than 1-Full Point! Click here to learn more about the SOAR® Learning & Soft Skills App.
In the meantime, I wish you and your middle schooler much success!
SOAR® Marketing Systems Engineer