The beginning of a new school year can bring a lot of big feelings for both children and adults. Adjusting to new routines, environments, relationships, and so much more can be both exciting and draining. As educators, we can bring with us our years of experiences and well-deserved self-trust that just like every year before, we and the children will adapt and thrive. Here are a few reminders of the tried and trusted practices that can aid in a successful new year:
Focus on relationships first. Successful learning is grounded in trust. Building a relationship with your children will ensure that learning is low stress, enjoyable, and collaborative.
Engage the parents and families. Families know their children best and can provide us with valuable insight for supporting children through the transition to a new care environment. When families trust us, children are more likely to trust us too.
Lean on your colleagues. And let them lean on you. Teaching is a beautiful and hard profession. Navigating the stresses and celebrating the successes doesn’t have to be done in isolation. We are stronger together.
Take exactly one day at a time. Transitions take time. Relationships take time. The effort you’re putting in now to create a strong foundation of trust and learning routines will have a big pay off in the long run. But for now, focus on just today.
Celebrate small wins. Set small goals for yourself and honor the unexpected successes. Remember that big growth and movement forward happens gradually not all at once.
Recognize that this newness is temporary. All the feelings that you and the children have right now are real and won’t last forever. Gradually, you and your children will adjust and what was once something new will be familiar, secure, and routine.
Centering these key ideas and embracing the joys and struggles of newness will create lasting connections and feelings of success for both you and your students.
Here are a few additional resources I recommend for helping your students, families, and you adjust to a new year: