I woke up this morning a little bit panicked from a dream I was having about the first day of school. I was attending a new school that was essentially cabins spread out in a huge area in the woods. (I know – crazy – but it was a dream)!
My mom was with me and knew where my first class was, so I managed to get through my first class, but I spent the rest of my dream wandering, and then running through the entire campus trying to figure out where I was supposed to go. I didn’t have a class schedule, couldn’t find the office, and in the end, complete with having run through Poison Ivy, broke down in tears…which woke me up.
My first thought was, that I was thankful it was just a dream. My second was that I needed to remind parents that if their kids are going to a new school and haven’t gotten on the campus to see the lay of the land, they might need to.
I haven’t experienced Back-to-School Jitters in a long time, but with school just around the corner, I know some students are. Going to a new school can be overwhelming to some students, especially those who have to change classes for the first time. Getting even a little bit familiar with the school ahead of time can help make the first few days less intimidating.
Before the first day of school, go to the building. Take a look at it. Where are the entrances? Where is the playground? What can you figure out just by looking at the outside?
Is there a map you can download or get from the school? If you can get inside, do some exploring:
- Where is the lunchroom?
- Where is the PE area?
- Where is my classroom?
- Will I have to change classes? If so, where are the other rooms?
- Where is the office? (Hint…It’s almost always near the flagpole).
- Where are the bathrooms?
- Where is the library?
- Are there multiple ways to get to all of these rooms?
- In what order might I need to go from room to room?
- Take a few pictures so you can remember what it looks like
Getting lost can happen to anyone, but it is more apt to happen to students who struggle. Start the year by removing this anxiety. It’s such a simple thing to fix beforehand, but getting lost during school can ruin a whole day.
Make sure the first few days are fun and not an exercise in frustration.
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Founder and Executive Director – Stowell Learning Centers
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