Next week, my daughter will move from the infant room to the toddler room at her school. At the same time, my son will move from toddlers up to pre-school. Their school let us know with a simple form letter, one I saw tucked into the cubbies of older kids many times before. It is exciting to see them moving into new environments, as they are clearly ready in their own ways. These are more transitions in a life full of transitions.
Moving these two little humans into a new school environment made me think about the multitude of transitions that students, their families, and faculty members face as they join a new school. Unfamiliar social waters, different expectations, and the challenge of simply navigating a different physical space are just a few of the challenges in starting anew in a school. For these community members, just as for my children, this transition is unique for them; it’s the first time they have made this particular change in their life. As such, it is important for schools communities and “experienced members” of the community to keep this mind. While we may be an seasoned professionals at navigating the start of the school year, it is important to keep in mind that there are a large number of people around us who feel quite differently.
As school begins this fall, keep in mind those who are going through this change for their first time. Schools – students, parents, faculty – succeed as a community. See the school and this transition through their eyes and then help make them make a smooth entrance into a new environment. It is their first time through this transition and your help may make all the difference.