Back to School: Sometimes We Are All Middle Schoolers

Another first day of school is in the books. We greeted students with a walk down the red carpet as Paparazzi took their photo behind the news Banner. The kids had an absolute blast. This didn’t stop us from having a few students who were overwhelmed by the whole experience. Our goal was to make every student feel welcome and special on their first day of school. Mission accomplished…mostly.

Back to School: The First Days, A New Take

I couldn’t help but think about my experience as a first-year principal opening a new school just two years ago. I was completely beside myself trying to remember all that I needed to do prior to the start of school as a leader.  Everything was a big deal. Things were completely different this year as I was set to begin my third year as a campus principal. I found myself more relaxed about what I couldn’t control, but laser focused on the things that I could. What a difference two years makes.

We are all middle schoolers to some degree  

The change and newness of a different position or school take us to this place of discomfort. Hopefully, as adults, we have learned how to better navigate these feelings of vulnerability. It’s not always easy for kids as they seek to protect themselves from the difficult and perceived reality of being a middle school student.


Our middle school students experience some intense feelings as they enter the sixth grade.  Everything is new and they are grappling with adapting to this new environment.  Seventh graders are a little more comfortable as they have an idea of what things will be like. Most of the time eighth graders have completely adjusted and they walk into school on the first day like a boss! They are so excited to be the older kids on campus.

The successful transition of students through their middle school years requires three things:

1. Embracing discomfort

2. Living into experiences

3. Resisting hubris

When have you felt like a middle schooler recently? How did you overcome the feeling?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *