10 ways to welcome new kids at school
Our family moved around a lot when I was young and I often found myself being the new kid at school. It was always a struggle; I felt alone, nervous, and scared. This experience has encouraged me to teach my children 10 ways they can help kids who are starting the academic year in a new school.
- Look for them, not past them. Think about how they may feel and what you can do to make their transition easier. These kids are easy to spot; they are likely alone, looking down, and a bit lost.
- Say hi. Ask where they are from, if they live in the neighbourhood or if they have any siblings.
- Sit with them at lunch or invite them to sit with you and your group of friends.
- Invite the new student to hang out after school. The more opportunities new students have to meet others, the quicker they will integrate.
- Introduce them to your friends so others can be involved in making the new kids feel comfortable.
- Compliment them. Maybe they have a cool backpack or are wearing a sports team jersey from your favourite team. One time when I was the new kid, a girl told me she liked my watch band. It was a small comment, but it made me smile and feel good.
- Tell the new kid about clubs, sports, or other activities at school. One year I was invited to join the basketball team and gained a whole team of friends.
- Sit with them on the bus or chat with them at pick-up time. Even if it’s just for a day or two.
- Help the new student find things like the gym and the cafeteria.
- Be inclusive in class group work. It can be very embarrassing if the teacher asks kids to pair up and the new kid is left standing alone.
Katy M. Clark is a writer who embraces her imperfections as a mom on her blog, ExperiencedBadMom.com.