New pencils, new teachers, maybe a new school.
It's a big day for all. I wish all of you the best of luck and success for your child's(ren) school year.
For those new kindergarten parents, it's going to be okay. For those new middle school parents, good luck. For those new high school parents, tick tock, time passes more quickly than you think.
Don't be afraid to be an advocate for your child. There really is no one who will support your child as much as you will. Don't say "my kid, right or wrong" but also don't believe your child is wrong because someone else tells you so. I always remember what Greg Imel, our principal at Whittier, said, "I'll only believe half of what your child says about you if you only believe half of what your child says about me."
There is a sea change from elementary to middle school in terms of how you deal with teachers. Some of it is having more teachers, some of it is that those teachers have more children than an elementary school teacher, some of it is a larger school. Just know, that those halcyon days of elementary don't necessarily spill over to middle school.
Parent involvement in middle and high school certainly shifts from at-school work to a lot of fund-raising and organizing activities. It's a little sad not to be around kids as much (because there's where the fun is).
Parenting is different as well. No matter what, don't let your child push you away. Don't be in their face (won't work), don't nag (really doesn't work) and don't be overly nosy (all that will get you is the sigh and roll of the eye).
BUT yes, you do get to set ground rules and expectations. State them clearly, write them down and hand them to the child and have them read them in front of you and ask if there is anything to clarify. Bend them a little if it makes your child feel part of the decision-making. But your child needs a parent; they already have friends at school.
If they nag you, you get to give them your answer and then say, "You asked me a question and I gave you an answer." Walk away and do not fight with them.
And always remember that you are their anchor and home is their shelter. Make it feel that way and they will be glad for it (even if they do not show it).