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Counseling Tips for Parents and Students

Establish a routine – but be flexible. Most middle schools start earlier than elementary schools (some begin at 7:20 a.m.), so get into the habit of going to bed early enough to get the recommended eight to 10 hours of sleep. Think of sleep time as cumulative over the course of the week; if you have to stay up late studying or competing/performing, try to make up the difference the next night.

Stay in-the-know. Check the school’s website and teachers’ websites to stay current on events and assignments. Parents can visit the school to obtain a log-in and password for access to the parent portal, which includes information about students’ grades and attendance (parent must bring photo ID).

Choose friends wisely. Learn to recognize so-called friends who don’t have your best interests in mind. Maintain close relationships with those who are goal-oriented, positive, trustworthy and fun! You don’t have to like everyone, but you do have to RESPECT everyone.

Be organized. Have a system for maintaining papers, notes, homework, classwork and supplies. Use a planner or agenda book consistently to record homework assignments.

Get involved. Join a club, play a sport, volunteer in the community, attend school-sponsored events. Extracurricular involvement is a great way to make friends and develop time-management skills. But, avoid becoming overcommitted! It’s better to devote your time and energy to a couple of activities than to spread yourself too thinly. Parents can join the PTA in order to stay active in the school!

Use social media responsibly. Parents should monitor students’ online activity and not permit access to sites like Facebook (the age requirement when registering for an account is 13), as these public forums are often misused and can be dangerous for students who are not developmentally mature enough to handle the responsibility of a social networking account.

Dress appropriately. Follow your middle school’s dress code.

Practice good locker habits. You only get a couple visits to your locker each day, so get everything you need while you’re there. Don’t linger at your locker because other students need to get to their lockers, too. Memorize your combination so you can be more efficient at locker time. Remember: Turn the dial right, then left, then right.

Utilize your resources. Every school is equipped with a team of professionals to assist you with concerns or questions you have. Also, take advantage of after-school tutoring sessions with teachers when needed.

Keep a positive attitude. Support your teachers. Take responsibility for yourself, and find opportunity in every experience.

- Provided by Katie Morgan, Dozier Middle School