It's school time again! You're probably feeling excited and maybe a little sad
that summer is over. Some kids feel nervous or a little scared on the first day of
school because of all the new things: new teachers, new friends, and maybe even a
new school. Luckily, these "new" worries only stick around for a little while. Let's
find out more about going back to school.
The First Day
Most teachers kick
off the school year by introducing themselves and talking about all the stuff you'll
be doing that year. Some teachers give students a chance to tell something about themselves
to the rest of the class.
When teachers do the talking on the first day, they often go over classroom rules
so you'll know what's allowed and what's not. Pay close attention so you'll know if
you need to raise your hand to ask a question and what the rules are about visiting
You might already know a lot of kids in your classes on the first day. But it's
a great day to make a new friend, so try to say hello to kids you know and new ones
that you don't. Make the first move and you'll be glad you did and so will your new
Moving to Middle School?
Sixth grade often signals a move to middle school or junior high, where you'll
find lockers and maybe a homeroom. This is just what it sounds like — a classroom
you'll go to each morning, kind of like your home in the school. In middle school,
you might move from classroom to classroom for each subject. Your teachers know that
this is a big change from elementary school and will help you adjust.
Most teachers let you pick your own seat on the first day, but by the second or
third morning, they'll have mapped out a seating plan. At first, it's a good idea
to write down where your seat is in your notebook so you don't forget.
Feeling Good on Day One
Seeing friends you haven't seen in a while can make the first day a good one. You
also can make the day feel special by wearing an outfit you like. Maybe you got a
great T-shirt on vacation, or your new sneakers put a spring in your step. If you
wear a uniform, you might wear a favorite watch, a new hair band, or a piece of jewelry
to show your personal style.
It can make you feel good to be prepared and have all the supplies you need. Some
schools distribute supply lists before the year begins, so you can come stocked up
on pencils, folders, and whatever else you'll be needing. Once you've covered the
basics, you might tuck an extra few dollars in your backpack for an emergency (like
forgetting your lunch money). Or maybe you'd like to bring along a book or magazine
to read while you're on the bus.
Whatever you put in your backpack, make sure you pack it the night before. This
prevents the morning panic when you can't find your homework or lunch box. Speaking
of lunch, that's something else
that can help you feel good at school — whether it's the first day or the 100th
day. Help your parents pack it the night before if you don't like what's on the menu
at the cafeteria. Try to include a variety of foods in your packed lunch, especially
fruits and vegetables.
The first day of school is your first chance to find your way around a new school,
or learn the pathways to new classes in your old school. It's a lot to learn in one
day, so don't be surprised if you need a reminder or two.
It might help to write a few notes to yourself, so you'll remember the important
stuff, like your locker combination and that lunch starts at 11:43, not 12:10. Before
you know it, your fingers will fly as you open your locker and you won't have to check
your notes to know what time lunch starts!
A Bad Start?
What if you hate school by the end of day one? Teachers recommend
giving things some time to sort themselves out — once you know your way around
the building and get adjusted to the new routine, you'll probably feel better. If
those feelings don't fade, talk to your mom, dad, teacher, or school counselor.
Here are a few final tips for a fantastic school year:
Use good work habits, like writing down your assignments and turning in your homework on time.
Take your time with school work. If you don't understand something, ask the teacher.
Keep a sense of humor. One teacher we know shows his new students a picture of
himself graduating high school — a grinning ape in a red graduation cap and
gown. This usually makes the kids laugh, and it's a good way to remind them that school