The first week of the school days is designed for the students to get to know each other well and to pick someone to be with for the whole school year. Teachers have important parts to play in helping their students to be comfortable with each other by giving different activities that can help them to know more about each one of them. But most of the times, there are students who enter the school on the middle of the year. It can be difficult for the new student to adapt when all her classmates are already bonded and especially when she is not yet adjusted to the place and is still missing her friends that she had left.
You will have an important role as a teacher to introduce the new student in your class and have them welcome her as a part of their group. You have to be prepared for some new students that will enter your class in the middle of the year for they can come in just a couple of minutes advanced notice.
These are some helpful instructions on welcoming a new student in your class.
- Always have materials that a student will need in a class room. Make an extra student record sheet. It will make it easier for your new student's first day to have everything she needs and will be easier for you as well to just write her name and details on your prepared extra sheet.
- Help your students to be more hospitable by reminding them basic hospitality. Teach them on how to introduce themselves properly, how to be friendly, and how to accompany visitors and to tour them inside the school. Let your students experience the feelings of a being new student by letting them reflect on their first day in your school. You can also give them activities that can let them understand the new student's feelings.
- Teach the class a welcome routine. This should be done each time a new student comes, to make them feel comfortable. This includes having a mini class program where everyone can present how they happy they are on having a new classmate by singing, dancing or drawing and giving the new student some welcome freebies like a coupon on the cafeteria.
- Let your students give their new classmate an orientation about the classroom rules, the weekly schedule, and the names of all their classmates and teachers.
- Shake hands with the new student as soon as you met her. Give her a warm smile and introduce yourself. Show her where her seat is, and assign some students to guide her to the school.
- Have a lengthy roll call. Long enough to make your students introduce their selves individually with a few descriptions about their interests. The new students should be the last to be called. This will make her feel comfortable. You can ask short questions and so are your students. This will help them to know more about her.
- Within the first week of the new student's stay, try to have a meeting with her parents. Tell them about her progress and ask some other information from them.
- After a few days, spend some time with the new student. Ask her what she feels, if she already found new friends, who among her classmates are being nice to her, and if she is having some problems or difficulty. Let her ask you some questions or express her feelings about her classmates or lessons. Inform her about her class standing, on how she can maintain or improve.
If the new student doesn't know how to speak English, have someone who can help her. Perhaps, a student with the same native language can help her. Being the new kid often brings about feelings of doubt and worry. Help your new student feel at home with the class by being welcoming and caring.