Five Indicators for Success in the Middle School

Posted by Brian Griggs Coronado Assistant Principal on 2/27/2020

Middle School girl

Before joining the Coronado Elementary team, I worked at a junior high for 13 years. Over the years there were a number of skills that students developed. Here are five skills that are indicators for success in middle school:

1. Taking ownership 

There is a distinct transition from 6th to 7th grade: new friends from other schools, new electives to take, new food in the cafeteria. There are a lot of options and opportunities. Students who take ownership of their learning, who believe that they are the most influential factor for their success, thrive. Taking ownership empowers all other skills.

2. Organization 

With so many options and opportunities, students are faced with the tough decision of how to invest their time. The ability to organize tasks helps students achieve their personal goals alongside what is required of them. There are many organizational tools out there; it is one of the reasons that we provide a planner in 6th grade. A branch of that is knowing how to take notes and reviewing that information. We want to foster those skills in our current students.

3. Knowing when to ask for help 

Middle school is not without its challenges. Friends become more of the trusted source for information, but sometimes a group of friends does not have all of the answers. Students need to know when to ask a teacher for help on a missed concept. Students need to know who to go to when there’s trouble with friends. Most of all, students need to know that, while they are the difference maker, they are not alone.

4. Follow through 

Students who can remain motivated to see something through to the end will enjoy their middle school experience. When students can stay ahead of the workload, they can participate more fully in extracurriculars, whether sports, performing arts, or another shared interest allowing for the development of meaningful relationships.

5. Kindness 

No matter what other skills that students bring to the table, they can always choose kindness. While we talk about preparing students for the next level of schooling, we must never forget that our students have a big wide world open to them and that who you are matters even more than what you know.