The first day of a new school is stressful for most students. Unless they already have friends in their new class they may be anxious about meeting the other children and being liked by their new teachers. Entering a new class is particularly difficult for shy or soft-spoken students. When welcoming a new student into the classroom, be sure to take into account all the sensitivities the student may have. Bad first impressions of classes and teachers can be traumatizing. Do all you can to make the first introduction smooth, making her feel welcome and accepted.
Prepare for the new student. Make sure that you have the materials in case they need something extra. Create a welcome folder for her including the class synopsis, rules and other school info. Assure that their seat and desk is in good shape and is ready for their arrival.
Prepare the class for the student's arrival. Share the news that a new student will be joining their class. Review class etiquette and rules with the class. Ask your students to empathize with the new student and to make an effort to make her feel comfortable. Ask for a few volunteers to be the new student's buddies and first friends. The volunteers can help the new student get acclimated with the school and sit with her at lunch.
Introduce yourself to the new student in a warm, friendly manner. Welcome them to the school and tell them your name and what you teach. Assure the new student that you and your class are very happy to receive them. Ask her if she minds telling the class a little about herself.
Introduce the class to the new student. If she doesn't mind speaking in front of the class, ask her to share a little about herself: where she is from, her favorite activities, music, favorite color, what she wants to be when she grows up and any other interesting bits of information she would like to share.
Call roll in the class with each student raising their hand or standing. Ask each student to say their name and one or two pieces of information about themselves. This will give the new student a brief overview of her classmates. Introduce her to her buddies and assure her that they will make sure she feels comfortable at school.
Call the new student's parents to check in. Let them know how the student is doing in class and if she seems to be struggling with anything. Ask them about how she feels about the school and if there is anything she needs from the class. Welcome the parents to come visit the school anytime.
Talk to the new student alone after a week has gone by. Ask her how she is finding the school, the class and the students. Let her express to you how she feels, if there are any students that are being particularly nice to her and any questions she may have. Assure her that she can come to you anytime if she has any questions or problems.
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