Heading Back to School: Surviving the First Week
The first week at school is quite exciting and nerve-wracking for both students and teachers. Nothing can beat getting to meet new friends, see what changes the school has made, and getting to know your new class. Through all the excitement though, there are often nerves that show up for the first week, both for students and teachers. The first week jitters can be hard to overcome but below are strategies and tools to survive the first week for both teachers and students.
Dress for Success
If the first week jitters are getting to you there is no better tool than to dress for success. It may seem silly but having a new outfit or your favorite clothes picked out can be a great way to avoid the nerves at the start of the year. For kids going back to school, one way to keep them from dreading the start of the year is to give them something to be excited about. Having a special outfit that is saved for the first day, or multiple outfits for the first week is a perfect way to do this. For the teacher who is nervous about the new school year, this is the perfect technique as well! Having an outfit that you feel confident in will help you start the year off on the right foot.
Planning Makes Perfect
Another way to keep nerves at bay is to plan for the first day and week of school. By planning for the first week of school, you can help yourself to figure out any issues before they happen. For school-age children, some things that cause them to worry could be:
- How long it will take to get to school.
- What route they should take to school.
- What materials do they need?
- Will their bike, scooter, or skateboard be able to get them to school?
By planning, you can take your child who might be the biggest worry wort and give them the ability to relax. Planning helps children feel at ease as the routines of summer transition to the routines of the school year.
For teachers, the logic behind planning is also the same. Taking time before the beginning of the school year to plan can help make the craziness of the first week seem easy. For teachers, the following things can be done to keep nerves down.
- Try driving to school during a regular morning to time how long it takes to get to school.
- Make sure that the classroom is set up completely before students start.
- Have all activities been planned out beforehand?
- If you need printed material visit the copy room and make copies.
- If you have presentations, make sure that they work and have no technical difficulties.
By working through things ahead of time you can help to avert any stress that may come up.
Get Help From the Pros
If you are a parent and you are having issues with getting your child ready for the beginning of the school year, don’t feel like you can’t reach out! A lot of teachers know that the beginning of the year can be stressful and can often help children feel comfortable with the new school year. Some teachers are even available to meet students one-on-one and show them the classroom before the start of the school year! Other parents are a great resource as well. They can share their expertise on how to help students transition to a new year.
For educators, the strategy is similar as well! If you are nervous or want to do something different, feel free to ask for help from the teachers around you! If you notice that someone does something well, then pick their brain! There are also other ways to get help. For example, use back-to-school activities for the first week of school. It is great to use your energy on being the best teacher you can be and leave someone else to figure out the activities by making the worksheets look pretty.