Just a list of things to consider.
- Every student comes to you with their own unique perspective and expectations of the first days back to school and that perspective is based on passed experiences with first days back to school.
- Some of our students come reluctantly.
- Some run to school relieved that summer is over.
- Some students are quick to socialize and acclimate.
- Others find the whole thing overwhelming.
- Adjustments are many. The lighting, the noise, the temperature, the smells, the close proximity to others, new schedule, new teacher, new daily routines, the sitting, sitting and sitting.
- More and more of our students find this transition quite painful, even frightening. And we know what happens then. They go into hyper-vigelant survival mode. Fight, flight or freeze. Shut down or meltdown.
- Some kids just don’t know what to do. It may seem obvious to us, but they just don’t know what to do.
- Some have no friends, or are not good a chit chat.
- Some don’t know how to use clues in their environment to determine what to do next.
- Be mindful that some of our students don’t read well.
- Some don’t follow written direction well.
- Some can’t organize themselves well
- Some may not speak English.
- Avoid directives that are no more than vague suggestions.
- What to do may seem obvious to us, but couldn’t be less so to some of our students.
- Some kids have no friends.
- Remember that some of your students will not have strong enough executive functioning to put away their supplies in a way that makes sense.
- But also remember that what keeps you organized may not be the same as what keeps your students organized.
- Remember that some of our students don’t know how to initiate interaction with others.
- Telling kids to share one thing about themselves they want their classmates to know is way too abstract for many of our students, no matter what age or grade.
While most of our students can adapt, fit in, take cues from the environment, successfully interact with their peers, some cannot.
How our students feel during the first few days back will stay with them throughout the entire school year.
Know that I am rooting for every teacher as he/she embraces the start of another school year with hope and the best of intentions. You are warriors and champions. Take care of yourselves to avoid battle fatigue.
What you do every day is nothing short of heroic.