Middle school…yikes! I heard stories from parents about middle school. Claims like: your kids don’t need you as much in middle school, hardly any parents come to chapel, the teachers don’t want your help, the kids ignore and avoid you. With all this chatter I was not looking forward to the middle school experience, especially after being immersed in that cozy ACS elementary school culture. But alas, kids grow up and make the switch from elementary school to middle school. It’s inevitable.

And now it was my turn…

When it came time for middle school, my kid was psyched and ready, even if I wasn’t.

We survived that first day, week, month and year and now I am at the end of my fifth year as a middle school parent, with a few more kids coming up the pipeline. When all is said and done with my crew of kids I will have clocked over 10 years as a middle school parent and so far so good.

So here is a thing or two you ought to know about middle school…

It Stinks

No, literally it does. You think I’m kidding but this is for real. With all those growing and changing bodies, the body odour wafts down the hallways and sometimes it’s a little overwhelming. Please, get deodorant for your children, encourage good hygiene. While their bodies may be developing I don’t think their sense of smell has developed so they may smell and not even know it.

Help Wanted & Parents Welcome

Just because it’s middle school doesn’t mean the staff don’t want, need and welcome your help. Every classroom and every teacher is different but I would say the majority wouldn’t turn away a helping hand. Help wanted roles might include; drivers, supervisors, coaches, bulletin board designers, guest speakers, envelope stuffers, party planners, prayer support, home room parents, reading helpers, math helpers, office assistance, X-Block leaders. You may not have all the skills to fill all the roles but I’m sure you can offer your services for one of these tasks.

Good Community, Great People

From the moment you walk in the door and meet one of the friendliest faces in school administration to shaking hands with the most professionally dressed principals around to meeting all the teachers and support staff…what’s not to love? So many of the staff take a vested interest in these kids, going above and beyond job expectations and showing respect and appreciation for these young people trying to figure out their place in this world.

Work Hard & Play Hard

Okay, one of our favourite things about middle school is all the opportunity for clubs and sports. One of my favourite things to do is watch my kids play, perform, present etc. I love it and I show it by cheering and screaming. Sports Day is coming up so maybe I’ll see you there or maybe you’ll just hear me.

It’s No Big Deal

Initially, going to middle school seemed like a big deal but seriously it’s not. Every time it has been a great transition. If as a parent you’re anxious, relax. If your kid is feeling anxious, explain that it is no big deal.

It’s still school; just a different building and different teachers.

Middle school, such a concept. It’s filled with such a variety of students: high voices, low voices and squeaky, cracking voices, some students who still resemble little kids, some who seem ready for high school and some who look like they’re in high school but act like they’re still in elementary school and everything in between.

Just remember, they are all just kids, growing up and trying to figure out how to be adults just like us.