How to Survive 6th Grade at McAuliffe


Itiah González, Writer

Sixth grade is a big transition from elementary school and it can be difficult, but with the right skills and mindset, you can survive and have fun. From learning how to advocate for yourself to managing all of your responsibilities, this guide will prepare you for success in your first year of middle school.


Part of moving on to middle school is becoming a young adult and with that comes the responsibility of taking care of yourself and your needs. For example, if you are going to miss class, it is up to you to get the classwork from the teacher, whether by email or by side-conversation after class. This is also expected when you are confused about something or you missed an important piece of the lesson. It can be hard to recognize when you need to advocate for yourself, but over time it becomes easier the more you do it.

Study Habits

It takes dedication and self-management to be successful in middle school. Studying is essential to getting good grades at McAuliffe. Pay special attention to studying for summative/unit exams because these test your accumulated knowledge over time and they have a bigger impact on your final grade. Quizzes are important to study for too because they ensure that you are up to speed with weekly lessons. Taking notes in class  will make studying easier since you will have already written down the most important information.


One of the most unnerving things about the middle school transition is the infamous locker. The first thing you will want to do is give yourself time to memorize where your locker is and how to open it. Each locker has its particular obstacle and you need to figure out the fastest way to handle it. The combination itself can be tricky so maybe you’ll want to consider writing it down somewhere safe where only you can see it. Opening and managing your locker will get easier and more natural as time goes on so be patient and don’t give up.

Passing Period

Compared to elementary school, middle school passing periods are chaotic, and with a school this size, there’s no way around it. One thing to try to avoid is getting in the way of 8th graders, because they are tall and intimidating and sometimes you can end up shoved in a corner, I speak from personal experience. Also, figure out the fastest way to get from class A to class B and stick to it. Make sure to keep up a reasonable pace because you don’t want to be late or walk too slow and cause traffic. Figure out when you need to go to your locker so that you can have time to walk to class and set yourself up.

Rules and Behavior Expectations

As you may have noticed, middle school kids can be a little rowdy sometimes and that’s why there are rules and expectations to follow. You should know, certain behaviors will result in a refocus. There are two types of refocuses, there is an Academic Refocus and a Behavioral Refocus. You will receive an Academic Refocus if you do not complete your work on time or need help after school because you are not caught up on your work. When you get an Academic Refocus, you will spend 50 minutes after school completing your work, no exceptions. You will receive a Behavioral Refocus if you get into fights, bully, or do anything that is not school appropriate. When you get a Behavioral Refocus, you will spend the time that is usually spent at recess, picking up trash in the courtyard. It is best to avoid behaviors that will get you a refocus.

With the information provided here, you are sure to have a successful first year of middle school.