Wednesday, May 6, 2015

5th Grade Transitions: Classroom meetings

I've spent some time this week meeting with fifth graders at our two feeder schools in their classrooms.  I've wanted them to get to know me early, answer a few questions, and generally let them know what to expect as they prepare to transition to middle school.  My answers to their questions have become somewhat predictable:

  • Yes, you have to dress down for PE.
  • No, you're not going to get stuffed into a locker (or garbage can) by an 8th grader.
  • Yes, I know your brother Carlos. 
One discussion item we've had centers on what is the same, and what is different from elementary school. It's been eye opening to me to hear some of their perceptions, even though I've heard many of the same concerns when I worked at the elementary level. Hearing them as a middle school counselor just gives me a different perspective. The main point I've wanted to get across to them is that if they have been successful in elementary school, their habits and behaviors will serve them well at the next level. If they've made some poor choices along the way, the best time to turn that around is right now. How you were in fifth grade doesn't have to be how you will be in sixth. 

I've also brought some combination locks to leave with their teachers so that they can practice opening them. The sooner we can get that stuff out of the way, the sooner they can get to learning in August. 

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