As we approach the last third of the school Summer holidays, this is where you may notice your child or children beginning to withdraw a little. Of course you will ask are they are okay and they reply I’m fine and disappear to their room. Actually they may not be okay. Children get very anxious about either moving up a class or moving on to a whole new school. They have listened to rumours about how horrible the teachers are and what punishments are given out. They believe that bullies roam the corridors looking for their next victim or that they will get lost in the many corridors and they will get in trouble for getting to class late. All of these are unfounded, exaggerated and in most cases just not true.
I worked in primary education for over 26 years. I understand children, Hey, I’m only 5’4″ so most kids are taller than me so I’m at their level (Some may say mentally as well. Some will just make the transition but others suffer in silence. they convince themselves of the worst possible scenario and relive it every remaining day of the school holiday.
We don’t want our children to be unhappy or worried. We want them to look back on their school holidays and their childhood as some of their best memories.
So what can we do? now it’s funny you should ask. from this week up until the first week in September I run a Moving Up. Moving On program for children. It helps children realise they can cope, realise that they are so much capable than what they have been led to believe. In just two sessions I will help that child to not only believe in themselves but also to give them the confidence to handle what ever they do face in the new term.
Moving to a new school can be intimidating. In fact, it may feel as your whole world as you once knew it is crashing down. You may wish your friend was with you, or that the school was in your old neighborhood. However, it is possible to fit in at a new school. Follow these easy steps and you’ll find yourself fitting in no time!
Take a day to appreciate your environment. You won’t fit in at school if you don’t know the school well yet. Ask where places are or ask for a school map.
Be friendly to everyone. Be nice to adults, teenagers and kids alike, because they might just be your next teacher or friend.
Get to know your teachers. Talk to them and find out more about them. See how strict or lenient they are.
Make new friends. Try not to be shy, and be confident. Talk to different groups of people, but don’t ignore a certain group. Be yourself and don’t lie. This is your school now, so take a chance on letting your true personality shine through if you didn’t already at your old school.
Pay attention in class. Teachers always pay attention to new students.
Be yourself. If your first day in the school is the first day of the new year, then some people will notice you, especially if it is a small school. When people talk to you, don’t be nervous, but don’t be too loud. Be confident and make eye contact. However, sometimes you may need to make yourself loud so that you will get noticed, and but try not to constantly attract attention to yourself.
- Don’t worry too much about what people think of you; you’ll over-analyze the situation and they might judge you for that.
- Be genuine and be nice to everyone, no matter how mean they may appear at first. It’s usually always the ‘girl/guy that you hated at your new school’ that ends up being your friend after a little sincerity.
- Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself, if it’s very clear that you should.
Avoid worrying about getting to know the school too much. Know where your locker is and have a map in case of emergencies, but whenever possible, ask the person sitting near you or a teacher in the hallway where something is.
- Asking for directions to a class, for example, is a good way to talk to people and meet a lot of people on your first day. You’re the new kid now. Mention that to people whenever you need some help.
Prepare for your first lunch. Talk to students in the class right before lunch. Usually, they will ask you if you’re sitting with anyone, but if not, steer the topic towards school lunch (as in is the food good etc.) If no one specifically mentions eating together, but you’re walking to the cafeteria together, then it’s implied that you’ll eat lunch together.
Be nice to everyone. It is important to talk to everyone, even if they seem weird, when you are a new student. They could always know people you’d rather be friends with or introduce you to more people. Try to meet new people. However, if they are hated by everyone, then it is advised not to become best friends with them unless you really want to, don’t get too into people, hang out with everyone, and make sure you know a group or person well enough before deeming them your friend.
- It can be the most tricky, manipulative people that talk to you at first, and it’s usually those who just talk to you later on, at the back of the classroom who are there for you later on.
Pay attention in class and try hard in school. If someone passes a note or whispers something to you, ignore them so you can pay attention to the teacher.
Join a few clubs or sports and make more friends in this way. Make sure you are committed to that sport or club.
Be consistently level-headed inside and out, and don’t over-think people or situation. Never forget that while you might be trying to fit in, you should never try to be anybody but yourself. The first couple of weeks are always confusing.
Share this with your children, show them you care and that they are not alone.
- Don’t be negative. People don’t like a Debbie-Downer. A way to avoid this is to think positively about every situation.
- If you had a bad reputation at your old school, don’t talk about your rep. Just pretend it never happened and make sure not to make the same mistakes at your new school.
- Try to avoid drama if you can.
- Don’t be obnoxious. It’s good to jump in and let people know you’re there, but allow them to get a word in too.
Be you. Be happy, and always do your best.
Until next week. Have a good one