You can help eliminate or ease stomach aches, headaches, nervousness, anxiety, fear…. These are some of the physical symptoms that some students face when they anticipate going to a new school.
One of the most common reasons for the anxiety is that the child has to meet new classmates. The child may be worried that “they won’t like me”, or that “they don’t want me to join them”.
Simple preparations RIGHT NOW can help the new child to anticipate the new relationships and understand that the kids in his/her class are also looking forward to having a new student join them! BEFORE school ends for the summer, ask students from each grade level to write a few sentences or a short paragraph of welcome on a letter (which is attached) that you will be able to send to new students who may enroll over the summer. About a month before school begins, send one of those letters of welcome to each of the new students that have enrolled. (If you divide the classes into smaller groups, you can make a few “original” letters to send to the new enrollees.)
We have included several different printable letters as an attachment to this newsletter. (which are attached) Download your copies now and give them to the teachers at the next staff meeting. To make it easy, there is a lesson plan included for you to give to the teachers.
Not only does this activity help the new enrollee, but it also creates the perfect opportunity for the current students to think about the needs of new students and to grow in their awareness and sensitivity for being a “First Friend” to the new students. Encourage the students to be “First Friends” to any new kids in their neighborhood. Take a few minutes and ask students who might be willing to volunteer to invite any new friends over to their home over the summer if anyone new enrolls from their class. If you get new enrollees, you will have a list of kids who can begin the process of making that new family feel a part of the school.
This lesson and fun activity are sure to encourage students to think about others, and it gives them a critical role to play in welcoming new students. Just think about new families who come to your school next fall and say, "my kids are so excited to meet the children who welcomed them!”
Welcoming New kids over the Summer