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Welcoming New Students Mid-Year

Found in: Building Trust & Community, New Students

I keep a file box and binder with all of my beginning of the year activities and information. I access anything that I feel is relevant for the new student and his/her parents to give to them.

One very effective strategy is to assign a "mentor" for the student. Usually the "new kid" is inundated by the other kids in the class. Assigning a specific buddy gives the new student some breathing room while getting to know everyone. The student mentor also shares the routines and expectations from his/her own perspective. Plus he/she introduces the new student to his/her friends, expanding their social group.

I am also mindful not to overwhelm the new student with assessments in the first few days. We generally have enough information from the parents and the former school to get us started and allow the student time to get acclimated.

Of course, so much depends upon the personality of the new student. I had a student join my class in January and after a few days, you would never know she had not been there all year. This is not always the case, so I try to monitor interactions and encourage students who may have something in common with the new student to be a buddy. That is usually a win-win.

Have an idea for welcoming new students mid-year? Let us know. 


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