Thursday, May 28, 2015

How to Help 8th Graders Transition to High School

The best schools prepare students for their transition to high school throughout their middle school experience.  Often middle school students do not know what to expect.   High school will be much more challenging than middle school.  For example some middle school students have math course but it does not offer enough of a foundation to match what the student will experience in high school.

Here are some things that middle schools can do to prepare students for high school:

1. Establish a transition program between the high school and the middle school.

2. Focus on teaching students good study habits

3.  Learning time management is a key to doing well on tests.

4.  Reinforce doing homework on time. It is a good habit.

5. Establish a tutoring program between the middle school and the high school that students frequently attend

6. Get the middle school student involved in volunteering 

7.  Help the students to learn how to achieve their goals

8.  Have the students to participate in honors classes. 

9. Ask the high school principle how to prepare your student.

10. Visit colleges to keep your students motivated

Principals and students must be active participants in the high school academic preparation process. It is good to talk to students about the choices that they have to make while in high school. You can let them know that there is limit to what they can accomplish. Hard work will always. The middle school students benefit.

The middle school student must also learn how to respond to peer pressure. Talking about peer pressure and how to respond to bullying can help the student's emotional adjustment.

Dr. Stephen Jones is an education advocate and author of Seven Secrets of How to Study. Get copies for students at your

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Unique Stress Management Tips for Busy K12 Professionals

Stress can be one of the greatest challenges for K12 professionals. You are constantly under pressure to get student to show school improvement without the resources that you need to accomplish it. You spend 60 to 80 hours each week doing your job. There are all kinds of meetings with students, staff, teachers and parents. You have a significant number of regulations. In spite of all these challenges you enjoy what you do. In order to survive your daily challenges you must commit to managing your stress. Here are some things that you can do to lower your stress:

1. Participate in a water aerobics class at the YMCA/YWCA

2.  Organize a weekly fun game night for your family or with friends

3.  Take a more than one mini 3 day vacations during the fall and the spring

4. Take off a Friday and a Monday to create a 4 day weekend to enjoy family

5. Hire a trainer to keep you on track with your fitness and healthy eating goals

6.  Go walking three times a week. It is a great alternative exercise.

7.  Take a month off during the summer.

8.  Visit an aquarium to relax 

9.  Go to the beach to enjoy nature

10.  Create a picture board with fun things that you want to accomplish and start working on them.

11. Do different exercises 6 days a week. Try different exercises and it will not be boring.

The K12 professionals who are effective have learned that stress management must be a way of life for you. Something that you must do to be an effective K12 professional is managing your stress. I have talked to several K12 professionals who never take a vacation. Vacations can help you to recharge your battery and to relax. An important part of your health plan is reducing your stress and taking a day to relax when you are overwhelmed.

Dr. Stephen Jones is an education advocate, author and professional development presenter on numerous topics at or email Dr. Jones at

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