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11 Aug, Thursday
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Montreal Families

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.

  1. 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.
  2. Say hi. Ask where they are from, if they live in the neighbourhood or if they have any siblings.
  3. Sit with them at lunch or invite them to sit with you and your group of friends.
  4. Invite the new student to hang out after school. The more opportunities new students have to meet others, the quicker they will integrate.
  5. Introduce them to your friends so others can be involved in making the new kids feel comfortable.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Sit with them on the bus or chat with them at pick-up time. Even if it’s just for a day or two.
  9. Help the new student find things like the gym and the cafeteria.
  10. 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.

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