Tips to Make Your Student Feel Secure & Combat Anxiety
As a public-school educator for more than 30 years, I met many different types of students. One thing I saw each year is that almost all kids have anxiety the first day of school, especially when attending a new school. Here are a few tips to help your students before school starts. Students feel secure when they have what they need, know where they are going and have an open dialogue at home.
Start talking to your student in advance – as soon as possible – about school. Ask if they know anyone in their class. Ask what they’re looking forward to learning this year. Ask what subject they are most excited about and if they’re nervous about anything. By opening a dialogue, your student will be reassured that they have a support system at home.
Go to orientation. Meeting teachers in advance helps kids feel more comfortable. If possible, find out if there are assigned seats when you’re meeting their teacher, so your child knows exactly where to go on the first day.
Get supplies in advance. This is tough for some families – supplies are expensive. But some supplies are better than none. Students always feel better if they have what they need. For many kids, getting supplies is a rite of passage that begins the excitement of a new year.
Do a dry run. We always did a dry run with my girls before every grade…all the way through their first year of college. A week or so before school starts, get up, get dressed in first day of school clothes, get to the “bus” on time, head to the school and literally practice getting from drop off to class (or multiple classes if your students are older).
Back-to-school time is a scary—but exciting—time for most students. Let us know if you have other tips to make it less so.