Presentation on theme: "Goodbye Old, Hello New! Transitioning from Elementary to Middle School"— Presentation transcript:
1Goodbye Old, Hello New! Transitioning from Elementary to Middle School Put this slide up as participants are entering.Participants need to be in small groups, preferably at round tables in groups of 8 (depending on number of participants).Supplies needed: Laptop, LCD projector, screen, pens, pencils, flip chart, markers, big paperCopies of handouts for each participant:Power point handoutTeacher handouts –Valuing Diversity in Your ClassroomCustomer Service Key to Creating Family-Friendly SchoolsMiddle School Information Brochure
2Resources Valuing Diversity in Your Classroom Customer Service Key to Creating Family-Friendly SchoolsMiddle School Information Brochure
3Goodbye Old, Hello New! Adjusting to Change Developing Skills for TransitionsWelcome the group and introduce trainersGo over logistics (restrooms, refreshments, break times)“Now we’d like to get to know you and give you some time to get to know each other.”Activity #1 (5-10 minutes)Choose an ice-breaker activity. Examples: (Do ONE of the following)Have people look in their purse or pocket and pull something out that tells something about themselves. Have them say their name and introduce her/himself in terms of this item, briefly explaining why it is typical of him/her. (Example: calendar – they are always busy)Have everyone list the letters of their first and last name (or first name only if they have a very long name). Have them write an adjective describing her/himself that begins with each letter of their name. Then ask each person to say their name and read their adjectives.If you have more than participants – you will need to use a larger group activity due to the amount of time this would take.
4The goal of this training is to provide information to teachers that will assist them in enhancing parental involvement during the transition from elementary school to middle school.As young people transition from one educational setting to another, they do so with mixed emotions. The purpose of this module is to identify challenges they face as well as activities to assist in helping parents and students feel comfortable and respected, that they belong at school, and supported by teachers.We are here to provide you with the most up-to-date research and information about how you can help students and their parents as they transition from elementary to middle school:1. Adjust to the change, and2. Develop the knowledge and skills they need for this transition
5Transition Levels Pre-School – Kindergarten Elementary- Middle School Middle School – High SchoolHigh School – Post SecondaryIn our daily lives our world is changing at a rapid pace and we need to prepare our students for these changes. The better prepared they are for these life transitions the more successful they will be. As students progress through the educational process, we must help them develop transition skills. Students have experienced the transition from preschool to elementary. Now comes the challenging and exciting transition to middle school, and then on to high school and post secondary or into the work force. It is important to recognize the individual needs of these students and adaptations may be needed in order to meet the needs of all students. Schools must work in partnership with parents to prepare students for these changes.
6Why is it important for schools to help parents stay involved during this transition? Activity #2: (6-8 minutes) Ask people to pair up (preferably with someone they don’t know very well) and take a few minutes to discuss this question “Why is it important for schools to help parents stay involved during this transition?” Let them talk about it for 2-3 minutes – then ask for a few people to volunteer to share their answers. After about 3-5 minutes of answers – then say:Middle school is when parents begin to become less involved. Students are telling parents they don’t want them involved. This is one of the times parents are needed the most.Not only do students have mixed emotions during transitional times, parents share this mixture of emotions. The transition and the school experience can be enhanced when schools and parents work together. When students are less anxious, parents are less anxious and more supportive of the school.Some other reasons schools should help parents stay involved are:
7Students with involved parents have Student achievement increases with increased duration and intensity of parental involvementStudents with involved parents haveHigher test scores and gradesBetter attendanceMore positive attitudes and behaviorHigher graduation ratesStudies show:Student achievement increases directly with increased duration and intensity of parental involvement.Studies show that students with involved parents have: higher test scores and grades, better attendance, more positive attitudes and behavior, and higher graduation rates.
8Successful students have parents that: Parents’ academic level, socioeconomic level, and ethnic or racial origin are not determining factors for academic successSuccessful students have parents that:Have a positive attitude about educationBelieve their children can do well academicallyConvey that belief to their childrenStudies also show:The academic level of parents, their socioeconomic level, and their ethnic or racial origin are not determining factors for academic success (Henderson and Berla, 1994).Successful students have parents that have a positive attitude about education, believe their children can do well academically, and convey that belief to their children.Parents often don’t know this information. Helping them be aware of these facts can be key to helping parents understand how to better support their children.
9Mandates for Parent Involvement No Child Left BehindIDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act)Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973(revised)Title IBut, if these are not enough reasons, there are laws mandating that schools work to keep parents as partners in their children’s education.These are just a few of the laws.
10Middle School Transitions What do we do to help students and their parents transition to middle school?What do we do here at _(name of school)__ to help students and their parents transition to middle school? We’re going to take a few minutes now to talk about what we do.Activity #3: (8-10 minutes)Have the participants pair up with a new partner (or in large groups – in groups or 3-4). Ask them to take 2-3 minutes to talk about this question “What do we do to help students and their parents transition to middle school?” Take about 3-5 minute and ask for volunteers to share what they discussed.Now let’s take some time to look at what the research tells us.
11Transition from Elementary to Middle School The last year in elementary school is considered to be one of the most exciting periods for children in the early school years. During the year, children feel more at ease because they know what to expect from their experiences of previous years. During this time they usually get comfortable with their everyday routines and have a lot of self-confidence. Sometimes these children are given liberty to do special things because they are the oldest children in the school.Then, the time comes for these children to head for middle school and they quickly become aware of the insecurities they have about their new school. Most children at this phase have many uncertainties and need reassurance. The move from elementary to middle school is a big leap in a child’s education for which there are steps that teachers and parents can take to ease the transition.But, first, lets take some time to look at what some of those challenges are that students face during this transition.
12What Challenges Will Students Face? Socially-- Reestablishing positive identityRelationships with old and new friendsWhat are some of the social challenges?Thousands of students enter middle school each year with personal concerns, questions, and anxieties. The transition from elementary to middle school can be a difficult experience not only for the student, but also for the parents as well. It can be challenging for the school administrators and staff as they attempt to help the new students adjust to a very different routine.In transitioning to a new environment, every adolescent looks for answers to develop a new and positive identity, reestablishing a sense of their identity in a more mature and demanding environment. New faces will be seen, many of them will be older, and some will be from different races and cultural backgrounds. Some adolescents will have emerging feelings for the opposite sex. Inevitably, students will have conflicts and need conflict resolution skills.
13What Challenges Will Students Face? SociallyCliquesSense of belongingPeer pressureIt is common for new middle school students to be concerned about making new friends and being apart from old friends acquired during the elementary years. Finding someone to eat with in the cafeteria can be challenging as well as finding the time to eat. The student may encounter a group of friends that are not open to outsiders. Often it is very difficult for students to connect with these peer groups, or cliques, which seem to have a code of their own. Each adolescent needs to feel secure in the new environment and feel like they fit in or belong, however, many times they feel alienated.Peer pressure comes in many shapes and sizes, and is another obstacle for some students to face. Some students may feel pressure to experiment with smoking, alcohol and drugs. Peer pressure can also be seen through students “copying” homework from their peers and not giving effort to earn grades. Many times, students want to be accepted in the trendy groups and pressure parents to pay big money to purchase the latest fashionable clothing, shoes, and accessories, which are constantly changing. Unfortunately, the social aspects of their identity are often more important to them than academic success, therefore, it is not uncommon to see students trade off success in the classroom for peer approval.
14What Challenges Will Students Face? AcademicallyExcitement and worriesUnfamiliar building/lockers/class schedulesAcademic demands/rigorous workloadMultiple teachers/styles/expectationsMaking choicesWhat are some of the academic challenges?Student success in middle school is directly related to having a positive learning attitude. The student will be excited about transitioning but will also have concerns about changes. Scheduling classes and moving from class to class can be confusing when the student is starting out. One of the greatest fears of students is getting lost in a large, unfamiliar building, followed by difficulties finding and opening lockers, and bringing the right materials to the right class. Students lacking organization skills will experience frustration with cluttered lockers, disarranged notebooks, and disorderly backpacks. Some students may simply feel overwhelmed.Adolescents at this age also have concerns about not getting along with their teachers. They worry about having several new teachers with different expectations and teaching styles and having increased homework assignments and more challenging projects and reports. They worry if they will be able to do the work. They worry about being teased or bullied by other students, having things stolen from them, and inappropriate behaviors in hallways that create discipline issues. Students will face many new issues and choices.
15What Challenges Will Students Face? Emotionally-- Relinquishing/new friendships-- Sense of identity-- Managing time-- Seeking purpose and role-- Key values supportWhat are some of the emotional challenges?Middle school students have a range of insecurities and personal issues as they move into their new school. Student stress rises when students face relinquishing friendships from elementary years, making new friends, and trying to connect to a peer group. The apprehension of dealing with multiple demands may appear to be traumatic to the student, especially for those having a difficult time establishing a new sense of identity. Just walking around in the new school can produce anxious feelings. The adolescent will be experiencing a totally new environment, which will give him or her more independence.The student may be unable to adjust well to new found freedom and how to use time wisely, confusing study time with friends and fun time.Adolescents have mixed feelings and uncertainties about the feelings of others. While they may appear self-centered, they may really be experiencing some self-discovery rather than selfishness. Frequently, adolescents seek to join peer groups where they have a purpose and role; finding positive relationships with others with similar interests or abilities, such as teaching younger kids or helping senior citizens. This gives them the sense of feeling safe and accepted.
16What Challenges Will Students Face? Physically-- Apprehensive about abilities-- Feel inferior/different-- Want to “fit in”-- Physical changesStudents entering middle school are at many different stages of adolescent development. They come with varying sizes and physical abilities. Students may be apprehensive about their abilities to perform in physical activities. The students who want to play sports, but have not yet developed the qualities such as strength, coordination, or size for being a competitive player, may not have a positive self image. A student may feel inferior or different or may feel viewed as a failure. On the other hand, students that choose not to play sports, reasons being from obesity to simply being disinterested, fear being bullied and ostracized by their peers. Fitting in is very important to the adolescent in middle school. Low self-esteem can undermine a student’s learning, behavior, and well being.Instead of making positive choices about physical fitness, students many times choose activities such as computers, television, or video games that will eliminate essential exercise, rather than choosing physical activities for healthy development. The adolescent’s body, mind, and emotions are all changing on his or her own timetable. The student will experience physical changes. Pimples and oily hair that accompany puberty are a challenge when trying to maintain a physical image of being “cool” and accepted. Another concern of adolescents includes developing physically faster than others. For many students, using the restroom or changing clothes in the locker room is an issue.
17Components for Successful Transitions Collaboration between elementary and middle school teachersTransition programsWhat are some of the things that help students have a successful transition to middle school? There are several components that pave the way for successful transitions.It is important for the administration and staff at both the elementary and middle school levels to collaborate. The schools need to work together developing seamless transition programs that include students and parents; and it is vital that schools convey to parents how important it is that students and parents both participate in these programs. The joint transitioning effort between the schools helps to remove many obstacles impeding student efforts, needs, interests, and aspirations.School leaders and staff sitting down and talking to one another between the two different school levels helps to foster a positive attitude and healthy environment, thus, helping to identify strengths and limitations of the two. Schools need to reach out to each other and work together to ensure that curriculum and scheduling are coordinated. This vertical teaming helps teachers and administrators at all levels better understand how to prepare students for the transition to middle school.Activity #4: (2 minutes)Take a few minutes and discuss these questions to the whole group: (Pause for answers between each question.)Now look at the picture on the power point. How does it make you feel? How would you feel about coming to this new school?After a few answers – say –Remember, first impressions are often lasting impressions.Go to the next slide.
18Components for Successful Transitions Welcoming environmentEstablish open communicationProvide school information and datesProvide curriculum informationActivity #4(continuted): (3 minutes)Now take a few minutes and get people to respond to these questions: (Pause for answers between each question.)Now, look at this picture. How does it make you feel? How would you feel about coming to this new school? What is the difference?After a few minutes of discussion tell them:Remember these pictures when you are getting ready for the beginning of school. Be sure to look at the entrance of the school – inside and outside. Are they warm and inviting? These are all first impressions.What are some other components needed for successful transitions?It is important for the school to involve parents and students in the transition process from elementary to middle school so that both the students and parents will feel welcomed and comfortable. Parents need to feel welcome when they come to the school so they will be involved, and teachers need to help parents understand what they can do and how their involvement makes a difference in their child’s academic success. The school needs to provide information to students and parents about courses, curriculum, important dates, and school schedules. It is very important for teachers to provide information to the parents and students about their expectations in academics and behavior. It is vital for the school and parents to converse and to be connected. The school needs to stress the importance of the parents’ continuing role in their child’s education. Communication between home and school should be recognized as being regular, two-way, and meaningful.
19How Can Schools Help Students Transition to Middle School? Develop a partnership with parentsProvide a warm, welcoming atmosphereEstablish two-way communicationRespect cultural differencesAccording to Dr. Joyce Epstein, a leading parent researcher from Johns Hopkins University, when parents are actively involved in their children’s education, their children do better in school. After analyzing and correlating 85 rigorous studies, Anne Henderson and Nancy Berla (1994) concluded that the most accurate predictor of a student’s achievement in school is the extent to which the student’s family is able to: (1) create a home environment that encourages learning, (2) express high expectations for their children’s achievement and future careers; and (3) become involved in their children’s education at school and in the community. Each of these three activities can look very different in different cultures. Our schools reflect the rich diversity of our country. When schools learn about the values, skills, and dreams of the students’ families and home cultures, it can begin to recognize the strengths and opportunities that are there. It is important for schools to embrace, be respectful of and responsive to the cultural diversity of their school community.To foster parent involvement, it is vital that schools provide a warm, welcoming, inclusive environment that encourages parents to be partners in their children’s education. We will be stressing this point over and over. The school’s role begins with learning about families, defining and communicating a variety of ways for families to support the school and their children’s learning, and using two-way meaningful communication to reach out to families on a regular basis.
20How Can Schools Help Students Transition to Middle School? SociallyInteractive learning groupsEquip with strategies and skillsSelf-esteem/Buddy support-- Talents beyond academicsMiddle schools need to be prepared to meet the needs of transitioning students by providing a welcoming and nurturing atmosphere that encourages learning. Students need instruction in setting goals and planning for the long and short term. Many classroom activities should take place in various learning group settings, allowing students to learn how to interact with others, and work in groups as team players and leaders. Feeling a sense of belonging in learning groups, in addition to individual “friendship” groups, is critical to the success of a middle school program. Studies reveal that effective learning results from interactive groups.Schools need to give students many opportunities for trying new activities including choir and school band, extracurricular activities, and clubs and organizations. Teaching strategies to resolve conflicts, and equipping students with problem solving and decision making skills will prepare them to select options that work best over time, possibly preventing the cost to their health and future due to poor choices.Teaching students to accept themselves, and having high self-esteem, will result in being more accepted by others. The school may provide an older “buddy” to give ongoing support to the new student. Students who feel comfortable with their social skills are more confident in their school setting.Middle school educators may not be aware of adolescents’ talents that are not readily visible in the classroom, ranging from writing to computers to dancing, or simply getting along with people. By providing activities that help young adolescents discover and develop their talents, and getting beyond their academic abilities, educators can build positive relationships that can lead to positive growth.
21How Can Schools Help Students Transition to Middle School? AcademicallyOrientation programInstruction, coaching, and supportClimate conducive for parent involvementStudent choicesIndividual needsMany middle schools help ease the stress of transition by providing an orientation program before the beginning of school to new students and their families to introduce them to the new school building, rules and policies handbook, classes offered and scheduling, discipline policies, extracurricular activities, and other important information.Middle school students are more successful when provided with explicit instruction, coaching, and support in organizing time and resources for homework, understanding and addressing the varying high expectations of the teachers in different subject areas, and accomplishing such basic tasks as studying, taking notes, and taking tests. It is vital for the school to be able to adapt to the individual needs of each student. If necessary, the school’s special education and gifted and talented departments should assist with student’s individual needs.It is vital for middle schools to create a climate conducive to parent involvement. Parents and schools need to communicate with each other to share important knowledge about the student. Students need opportunities provided by the school to choose to participate in organizations, clubs, and activities like student government, debate teams, or computer classes. Educators need to help students and parents understand that the recipe for success includes a healthy mix of schoolwork, sports and activities, family, friends, and free time.
22How Can Schools Help Students Transition to Middle School? Emotionally-- Proactive, preventive instructionIdentity search guidance/opportunities-- Promoting self-discipline/self-esteem-- Provide counselingAdolescents entering middle school need a combination of skill-training and social-emotional learning. They not only need explicit proactive, preventive instruction and support in addressing the stresses of transition, they also need opportunities to grow as young people. Schools must be a warm positive learning environment where students feel safe and secure.Because much adolescent behavior revolves around an identity search, middle school educators must take the time to understand and help students find answers while guiding them toward opportunities, relationships, and skills that allow them to develop a strong sense of self and to connect with others. Learning the right way to resolve conflicts and dealing with feelings indicate the students are adapting to the new environment. Students who obtain self-discipline are also gaining self-esteem, and are willing to tackle tough learning assignments. The school can promote self-discipline by establishing rules, and enforcing them; providing a list of standards and consequences to students and their parents; holding students responsible for expectations; and being fair, positive, and consistent.Adolescents are sensitive to emotions and feelings and the school should make every effort to keep personal and school problems out of the classroom. Professional behavior should be adhered at all times.Schools need to provide individual and/or group counseling visits for new students having continued problems after ample adjustment time is allowed. With the support of the schools, the transition can be a catalyst for positive growth, starting students on a journey that will see their young aspirations soar into adult accomplishment.
23How Can Schools Help Students Transition to Middle School? PhysicallyAddress health issuesNutritionally balanced school mealsPhysical education programHealthy environmentParents and community involvement-- Provide for individual differencesWhen new students arrive in middle school, the school needs to address many issues, physical health as well as academics. The health classes should promote and help students maintain and improve their health, prevent disease, and reduce health-related risk behaviors.The program needs to incorporate fitness, stress management, health screening, weight management, personal goal setting, and nutrition. The middle school physical education program should stress cooperation, integration of other subjects, and motivation to succeed regardless of gender, age, size, and current level of ability or interest. This approach ensures that all students experience personal success and enjoyment from physical activities such as team sports, lifetime and leisure activities, and physical conditioning.It is difficult to learn in an environment where anxieties and fear prevail. A healthy school environment is a priority, and needs to provide students with a clean and safe environment: keeping rest rooms clean and supplied with soap and towels, eliminating graffiti, lowering anxieties of the locker room, and maintaining doors on individual stalls for student privacy.The school needs to involve parents and communities, working together to ensure a complimentary recreation program for students and adults.
24How can schools help parents transition to middle school? What are some of the causes of stress for new students that you see in your school?What are some of the causes of stress for parents of students?What can the school do to address these issues?What can the school do to involve parents in identifying and addressing these issues?Activity#5: (25- minutes)Ask participants to pair up with a different partner or work in groups of 3-4 (depending on the size of the group). Pass out big paper and ask participants to write down the answers to each question.Ask them to discuss this question, “What are some of the causes of stress for new students that you often see in your school?” Give them 2-3 minutes.Now ask them to answer: “What are some of the causes of stress for parents of students? (3-5 minutes)Now ask them, “What can the school do to help address these issues?” (3-5 minutes)“What can the school do to involve parents in identifying and addressing these issues?” Take 3-5 minutes to discuss.Spend about 3-5 minutes having the groups report out on the answers to question number 4.(Tell them to save the paper and use the information when developing their parent involvement plan.)Remind them that people will support what they help create.One way teachers can assist parents is by helping them understand what support they can give their student during the transition to middle school. We are going to spend a little time now giving you information for you to share with your parents. Parts of this power point could even be used as the beginning of a short workshop for parents. We have also provided a handout for teachers to give parents at the beginning of the year, at open house or a teacher conference.
25How Can Parents Help Students Transition to Middle School? AcademicallyAssist in organization skillsIndependence with decision makingHelp in setting goalsLearning resourcesParents as partnersWhat are some ways you can help parents help their student transition academically?Help parents understand that students transitioning to middle school need to be encouraged to have a learning attitude.Remind parents they can help their student by:Assisting in organization skills by providing a daily planner/calendar that will be beneficial for daily assignments and keeping track of due dates for long term projects and reports.Helping their child learn to manage time wisely by setting up a study routine that is quiet and comfortable and helps him or her do their best workEncouraging their child to start earlier with larger tasks, such as projects, and break them into smaller tasksKeeping their child supplied with the basic classroom materials that he/she will need dailyAllowing their adolescent independence to make decisions, accepting his or her “safe” mistake without being critical of him or her, and helping them think through what could have been done differently.Helping their child set goals, beginning with short-time lengths for smaller goals.Striking a healthy balance between schoolwork and other activitiesTell parents you are partners with them in their child’s education. Suggest that ways they may get involved in their child’s education and new environment include being present for all meetings or events (orientation included) that will provide information about their child’s new curriculum, volunteering with various classroom tasks and PTA, participating in the school’s parent center, and helping chaperone field trips.
26How Can Parents Help Students Transition to Middle School? SociallyAccepting and being acceptedMutual respectNew and old friendsCooperation and communicationWhat are some ways you as a teacher can help parents help their student transition socially?You can help parents understand that social skills will play an important role in their child’s middle school years. Children want to fit in and be accepted among peers in his/her new school. Remind parents to encourage their child to have good manners, be courteous, and to accept differences among peers. Parents need to teach their child that the best way to gain respect is to treat others with respect, as well as have self respect.Let parents know it is important:to welcome their child’s friends into their home. Get to know his or her friends and parentsto allow their child to be involved in school activities to meet new friendsto allow their child to keep in touch with some old friends or a favorite teacher, connecting to past experiences and helping him or her feel more groundedto teach their child that cooperation and good communication are key skills for being successful socially.
27How Can Parents Help Students Transition to Middle School? SociallyAgree to disagreeLearning attitudeMotivate and inspire/Role ModelAlso, you can help parents understand:It is important to teach their child to “agree to disagree,” recognizing the fact that even at the middle school level, their child will disagree with friends and peers frequently. With each child bringing different values and points of view to a new setting, these differences can often lead to conflict.It is important for parents to teach their child to accept differences and to encourage them not to end friendships.Parents can support their child by teaching him or her not to give in to actions such as smoking, alcohol, sex, and drugs which bring about negative consequences.Parents can motivate and inspire their child to do their very best by giving lots of encouragement and praise for his/her accomplishments, large or small.It is important for parents to encourage their child to be persistent and complete tasks.Parents need to be a positive role model, show respect for their child, and build trust that encourages their child to share his/her concerns, thoughts, ideas, and aspirations.
28How Can Parents Help Students Transition to Middle School? EmotionallyTalk and listenPromote self-disciplineLearn from mistakesCelebrate hard workWhat are some ways you can help parents help their student transition emotionally?Teachers can help parents understand that their child is likely to exhibit worried feelings, as well as be excited about entering middle school.Let parents know that:Talking and listening to their child will enhance their relationship and make him or her feel interesting and wanted.It is important for parents to teach their adolescent to learn to like and accept him or herself.It is important for parents to promote self-discipline in their child, which is an important component of self-esteem, by enforcing family rules, establishing routines, expecting him/her to assume responsibility, and helping him/her learn skills for working with others.When a child is unsuccessful at a skill or talent, a parent can be supportive by finding lessons that can be learned from mistakes, and asking what he or she would do differently.It is important for parents to celebrate their child’s hard work by acknowledging his or her accomplishments.Parents should not to take their child’s good behavior for granted. Praise that a parent gives can provide the boost a child needs to overcome obstacles.
29How Can Parents Help Students Transition to Middle School? EmotionallyBe consistent and predictableResolve conflictGive independenceStay involvedBe a great motivatorIt is important for teachers to:Encourage parents to be consistent and predictable.Remind parents to teach their children how to settle differences among themselves and allow them, if possible, to resolve conflicts on their own.Remind parents to take the time to unwind and watch a movie, play a game, or do an activity with their child.Remind parents of the importance of planning a sit-down family meal at least once a day. This is the time when families can talk about their day and important issues. This is a time to listen and connect with your child.Remind parents that as their child grows older it is important to give him or her more independence.Remind parents that research points out that children are better able to handle challenges when parents are involved in their education. A parent’s interest is a great motivator and can go a long way toward making school more interesting.Remind parents it is important to get excited about good grades that a child brings home. Enthusiasm can be contagious. In order for a child to be excited about school, he or she must realize some improvement and experience some success.
30How Can Parents Help Students Transition to Middle School? PhysicallyEncourage physical activityLimit computer,television,video gamesReassure physical changes normalCommunicate with schoolWhat are some ways teachers can help parents help their student transition physically?Teachers can remind parents:It is important for parents to help their child by encouraging physical activity for true enjoyment as well as motivation for physical conditioning to have the ability for higher levels of performance.It is vital for parents to set limits for TV and computer time. Indoor activities such as computers, videogames, and television make it very easy for children to eliminate physical exercise.It is important for parents to encourage their children to get exercise through leisure activities with family members or friends.It is important for parents to get involved with school activities that interest their child such as team sports and life skills.It is important for parents to ensure that their child receives the proper amount of rest.It is important for parents to reassure their child that his or her physical changes are normal.It is crucial for parents to support their child’s positive self image by seeking proper medical attention, if necessary, for physical issues that might become an unmanageable problem such as facial blemishes or acne.If a child has a medical or physical disability, a parent needs to share it with the school to help better meet that child’s needs.
31How Can Parents Help Themselves? Take good care of themselvesKeep up their healthFind ways to handle stressKeep a positive attitudeBuild a support networkKeep a sense of humorFinally, remind parents they need to take care of themselves. They are a role model and a mentor. They need to practice healthy living habits. Parents need to find healthy ways to handle stress. (because with a teen – they will surely have stress!) Remind parents to keep a positive attitude. It is contagious. It will help their student be positive. Encourage parents to network with other parents. They need to talk about the issues their students are facing and work together to help their students address these issues.
32Remember the good old days when the messes they made were disposable? And finally, remind parents, and remember yourselves, to keep a sense of humor. The teenagers of today are very bright and often very worldly. As professionals, you are used to this age. Parents often need encouragement as they journey through these years with their children. These years can be very productive and rewarding for everyone if you work as partners – teachers, students and parents.And always remember—keep your sense of humor!
33ReferencesCrute, Sheree. “Growing Pains.” NEA Today vol.23 n6 2005:DeBruyn, Robert L. Helping Your Child Succeed. Manhattan, Kansas. The Master Teacher 2005.DeMott, James. “Articulation Eases Stressful Transitions.” Education Digest vol.65 n3 1999:Elias, Maurice J. “ Transitioning to Middle School.” Education Digest vol. 67 n8 2002: 41-43Fields, Dianne. “Transition 101”: From Elementary To Middle School. Education Digest vol.67 n7 2002:George, Paul S. “The Evolution of Middle Schools.” Educational Leadership vol. 58 n :Henderson, A., & Berla, N. (Eds.). (1994). A new generation of evidence: The family is critical to student achievement. Washington, DC: National Committee for Citizens in Education, Center for Law and Education.Parents. Fairfax Station, VA. The Parent Institute 1991.What’s Up with Starting Middle School. Channing L. Bete Company.