Are your students still having a hard time adjusting to their new environment? Some students may be coming from different schools or even experienced a family tragedy over the summer. Many factors can weigh into why your kiddo has a rough transition into the new year.
Signs your student(s) is not adjusting well can be lashing out, extreme shyness, seclusion from others, anger, and deliberately disobeying guidelines, to name a few. When a student is also scared, it can come across as anger or that they don’t care. It’s important to notice these signs and not jump to the conclusion that they are just a “badly behaved student.”
There are a few things you can do as their teacher to help them transition into their new environment and feel safe with you and your other classmates.
This may sound too simple to be effective, right? Wrong! Daily encouragement can go a long way for all of your students! Children need reassurance more often than we may think. Hearing they are safe, they are smart, they are doing a good job, and other affirmations can boost their confidence tremendously.
Giving out constant encouragement can also help build healthy relationships in the classroom, which is a great side effect!
#2 Building Relationships
Building healthy relationships starts with trust and transparency. I always suggest to any teacher to put building relationships as their number one priority in a classroom! Students feel more comfortable if they feel like they know you well. This doesn’t mean you have to be friends with your students, but it does mean they need to feel like they can trust you as an authoritative figure without feeling controlled or diminished.
You can easily do this by spending one on one time with students when you can. Genuinely ask about their weekends when they arrive at school, take time to talk about the art piece they made, and listen to what they want to tell you with intent. You can share your stories and find common interests as a class as well! Most importantly, be open when you make a mistake! If you write the wrong answer on the board or mess up a word while reading, take a second to show that even adults and teachers make mistakes sometimes too. This helps them feel less embarrassed when they make mistakes as well. It happens!
Student relationships are important as well! When you encourage teamwork and communication between students, you are helping friendships to flourish. Some see friendships as a distraction, but I fully believe they can boost each student’s overall confidence, positive social emotions, and connection with learning.
This set is highly recommended for building relationships in the classroom! It has been a game changer for all grades! Completely built-out and guided lessons help to teach social-emotional skills in an age-appropriate way! These kinds of skills can stick with students for years to come!
#3 Social Emotional Skills
Speaking of social-emotional skills, if you haven’t started doing SEL lessons in your classroom, start now! I cannot recommend this step enough! The benefits are absolutely wonderful, and the results are incredible. SEL lessons help students to thrive in school and in life.
This Back-to-School bundle is actually geared toward helping students during the first few weeks of school. It talks about several topics such as:
- Coping with Emotions
- Personal Space
- Taking Responsibility
- Following Directions
- Choosing Kindness
Never underestimate the power of reading! Books can hold great value and even comfort in their stories. Here are a few of my favorite books for this topic!
I Choose to Try Again
This book encourages students to continue to try even when they feel challenged. It also encourages them to not give up even if they failed once before.
Different: A Great Thing to Be!
This book helps remind students that it’s okay to be different! It’s actually beautiful to be unique and they should be proud of their differences!
I’m Just a Kid
This social emotional book helps to teach students we understand how difficult things can be to process for them. It also helps them know it’s okay if they struggle with a few things and there is always a way to overcome that.
Teamwork Isn’t My Thing, and I Don’t Like to Share!
If you have students who struggle to work in groups or with partners, this is a great book! Read this book before your next group project!
The perfect book about building relationships! I love all Julia Cook books and this is a definite must-have!
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