A Prayer for Entering Junior School: Revisted


Two years ago, my son was about to enter the Junior School. As I helped him gather the countless school supplies and practice his lock-opening skills, I tried to remember what my first day of middle school was like. I had absolutely no memory of it, so it must have been fine. I guess I opened my locker. I guess I found my classes. I guess I found my school bus for the ride home. We figured it out. Just like my son did (all except the school bus thing—he walks home.).

Now, it is my daughter’s turn to enter sixth grade. My husband and I are a bit more prepared for what is to come. We know she will be loaded down with her books, binders, and Chromebook each day. We know we will remind her to check her teachers’ Websites if she forgot to write down her assignments. We know what the sixth grade Family Night is like. We know where the auditorium is. But even though we have experienced MJS through our son’s eye, we also know that her experience will be different. I’m sure there will be some curveballs thrown at us in the coming years, and I’m also sure that she will try things our son would never have done—try out for the school musical, choose to play an instrument instead of chorus, choose different electives when she gets to 8th grade. And we have to also remember that, though we have experienced it with our son, this is all new to her. The building is just as intimidating to her. Finding friends in the cafeteria will be stressful. Figuring out how to navigate Google Classroom is new. So, I’d like to take a moment to send out my hopes and good wishes to all the incoming sixth graders:

  • May you quickly figure out how to open your combination lock on your locker.

  • May you learn how to navigate the halls in the two minutes you need to get from class to class.

  • May your alarm clock always go off at the right time.

  • May you remember to bring home all the right text books.

  • May you go the whole year without breaking your Chromebook.

  • May you not break your phone (more than you already have).

  • May you find friends to sit with at lunch.

  • May you not have a bad hair day on picture day.

  • May you always find an outlet and charging cord when you need to charge your phone.

  • May you walk to school, even when it rains and snows.

  • May you always remember your sneakers on gym days.

  • May you find friends in your classes, but also make new ones.

  • May you not be afraid to ask for help when you don't understand something.

  • May you be able to find a balance of school, family, and friends.

And if any of these hopes do not work out, may you always face frustration with a smile, a determination to figure things out, and a sense of humor to get you through. And may you always know that your family is there for you.