Mid-Year Challenges: Introducing New Students Into the Classroom

BePreparedBy Dana Berens — After having a three-week (spring) break, getting back into the swing of the classroom was tough!

While it made me appreciate the calendar set up of a year round school, it also surprised me how long three weeks was. While it was fantastic prep time, the one thing I could not prep for was the new students waiting for me.

I know, and have heard constantly in my four years at Marquette, that as educators we need to constantly expect the unexpected. Always be on our toes. Stay spontaneous.

I had considered the possibility of one new student joining the classroom after break…but when I found out that there would be three, it blew my mind.

Three more copies of the already planned week needed to be run off. Three more folders needed to be prepped for homework. Three more students need to be tested and assessed to decide which differentiated group they should be in. three new personalities and behaviors to blend into an environment. It is a lot, and one more reality check of being in the classroom.

What seemed to be a stressful situation, at first, shortly became a great experience. Not only was I tested in my preparation and organization, but I was also given the experience to introduce and integrate new students into the classroom. In addition, I was able to observe my students as they took on peer leadership roles. They offered to show students which stations to work at, where to get materials, where to sit at lunch, and played with them at recess.

It was a breath of fresh air to see my students, who can be quick to be feisty, remain calm and take on mentoring roles for the newcomers. Seeing my student’s kindness and maturity is another silver lining to hold on to for those days where 4:00 cannot come soon enough.

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