Middle School and the Locker

Today 11.0 had her “orientation” for middle school.  I think the school principal summed it up best when he called the two-plus hour session about lockers and hallways.  In reality, it was little more than a chance for the kids to go to their lockers, figure out how to make them work and then walk their schedules.  While there was some re-connecting with classmates as the summer winds down, it was really about getting the locker to work.

Now, this was no easy task.  None of the kids in the area where 11.0 has her locker were able to navigate the two turns right, one turn left and back to the right on the first try.  In some cases not really on the 12th try either. For us, it took a more than a couple of tries, but less than a dozen and the process of opening the locker was done.

We then walked the schedules a few times-from home room (ELA and Reading are in the same class room) to gym to lunch to Spanish to social studies to science to math.  Generally 11.0 has a feel for where her classes will be.  I think after a week she’ll be in the flow and figure out when to go to her locker.

During a couple of the walks I wanted to stop by her locker so she could get a feel for opening it in the flow of the day-but that didn’t really work because three of the lockers near her were getting some interior design work done.  Pictures, wallpaper, pencil and pen holders-I was struck with two thoughts.

1. Where are these kids going to put their books and in the winter coats with all of this stuff in there?

2. Did I miss the boat by just getting the “locker buddy?”

In my defense, none of the other dad’s who were there were busy with the interior design work.  But is that what was expected?  I asked 11.0 and she said no, but I am not sure she would actually tell me.  It’s one of those moments when a female touch may have been needed-or at least that influence could have been helpful.  Yeah, I got the pink locker buddy, and it has a pretty good-sized mirror.  Still, no family pics are taped up, no wall paper is hung-I didn’t make the locker the center of the day.  Should I have?

All in all, I would call it a success-she can open her locker pretty much on the first try.  She can basically find her classes and she ran into some old and new friends.  So, the goal of the day-to be ready for the start of school in a new building with some new accoutrements is a win, but the thoughts of should there have been more do linger…

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