As a teacher coming back to a familiar school, or even the same classroom, those magical butterflies that can set your tummy churning can be fluttering in full swing. Now imagine being a child walking into a new classroom, possibly meeting a new teacher for the first time, with different routines and expectations. There are ways to welcome children into your classroom without overwhelming them.
One of the best cues you can get is from each individual student. Using a soft voice, introduce yourself and show them where they will put their backpack and where they will sit. Keep a set of PECS, or classroom visuals handy on lanyard as visual support for our students who need to “see” the request you are making.
Offering a small “welcome to class” packet can help distract the child from the “newness” of it all. I wouldn’t suggest any edibles unless you are aware of any potential allergies in advance. If you visit the local discount store in town, you will find lots of inexpensive trinkets that can wipe those first day tears away.
I like to show my kids our reward system and how they can earn peanuts to feed the elephant! Each child starts the very first day of school with one peanut. This usually brings tons of giggles and smiles to their faces! They have the opportunity to earn more, but that’s another topic that we will touch upon later.
The first day, or even week of school, may bring some tears and our kids may need some extra hugs. We would love to hear how you welcome your students into your classroom!