Educators: Middle School Checklist
Getting ready for college starts in middle school. Help students and families understand how to prepare for the future.
☑ Do well in school.► Help students set academic and personal goals for the year in order to stay motivated and focused.
● Discuss ways to take on challenges. Help students understand that failure is a learning experience and an opportunity for growth.
► Be vocal about your high expectations.
► Emphasize the importance of attendance.
► Offer a variety of instructional practices and consider learning styles.
► Teach skills such as taking notes, making outlines, and doing research.
► Provide extra academic support such as tutoring outside of regular classroom hours.
● Encourage students to help each other as well as use online resources.
► Celebrate academic achievements.
► Encourage reading for pleasure.
● Provide class time for personal reading.
● Visit the library as a class and teach students how to check out books.
☑ Take the right classes.► Coach students to take challenging classes so they will be better prepared for high school and college.
► Offer honors or advanced classes.
► Offer Pre-Algebra and Algebra as an option for all students.
► Offer foreign/world languages.
☑ Get organized.► Provide and/or encourage the use of a paper or digital planner or calendar to keep track of assignments and deadlines.
► Provide strategies like a binder or folder for keeping notes and papers organized.
► Model good organizational habits.
► Provide quiet study spaces before, during and after school - especially for students who may not have access to technology at home.
☑ Get involved.► Offer a variety of school extracurriculars including academically-focused ones.
► Encourage community service and help connect students with volunteer opportunities.
► Partner with community organizations to provide afterschool and summer programs.
► Host transition events such as high school orientation for 8th grade families.
☑ Spend time with good people.► Provide peer, near-peer and adult mentoring opportunities.
● Create advisory or other mentoring programs so that every student feels connected and has a positive relationship.
► Engage families in school activities.
☑ Make good choices.► Teach and model good digital citizenship and safe online and phone behavior.
● Help students set appropriate privacy settings on social media.
● Remind students to only share information with people they know and trust, that information can live online forever and to always ask themselves: would I want my grandma/teacher/religious leader to see this?
► Teach students the risks of behaviors like drinking, doing drugs, and having sex.
► Set a culture of respect and kindness in your classroom and school.
☑ Explore college and career options.► Help students explore different occupations that match their interests.
● Assign a project requiring students to talk about their future dreams and plans with friends, family and adults then set goals and create an action plan to achieve them.
● Encourage students to interview several adults about their careers and the education and training necessary.
► Teach students and families about the different types of colleges and why college is important.
● Create a college-going culture, for example, by visually displaying information about college.
● Build students' college-going identities.
► Plan visits to college campuses.
● Feel free to start small – eat a meal on campus, attend a cultural event, etc.
● Use alumni in college as tour guides or virtual mentors for students.
☑ Learn about paying for college.