A new academic year is a challenge. Here are some tips to deal with change.
Another year in school comes with its own set of anxieties — new curriculum, teachers, friends, rules, and if you’re new to the school, also add to the list a different environment. But there’s nothing to fret about if you go about it the right way.
Smile! It’s a great ice-breaker. It’ll also make you seem more approachable.
Be friendly. Don’t wait for others to talk to you; take the initiative to introduce yourself to others and get to know them. Importantly, remember their names!
If you spot a fresh face in your class make him/her feel welcome. Introduce them to your friends. And who knows, you may have just met your new best friend.
Extra-curricular activities are a great way to meet like-minded people. So check out what’s on offer at school and join clubs, activities or sports that interest you. It’s a good way to make your presence felt beyond the classroom too.
If you are new to the school, familiarise yourself with its rules and regulations. Even otherwise, make sure to check if any rule has been introduced or if there’s a change in the credit system, timings and so on. It’s all the more relevant especially when you are moving from one level to another like junior school to high school.
Make sure you seat yourself where fellow students will notice you, as this makes it easier to strike up a conversation. Leave the last benches for later.
And most importantly, be yourself.
Expert says: S. Sowmya, Director of Services, FIVE - Centre for Child Development:
School is a place where not just the academic learning takes place, but social learning happens too. Social learning for a child takes place through their interaction with people around them, in this case, friends in school and also through personal experiences. Being a part of a social circle, that is, making friends, is imperative as it help one form his/her ideas based on which opinions are formed. At this age, one chooses a friend based on shared physical interests and experiences. The emotional factor in a relationship comes in later during the teen years. Thus taking part in activities like book reading in clubs will help children find friends with similar interests. It’s also a good way to make friends outside the classroom or even school.
Teacher’s take: Geetha Loganathan, Vice Principal, P.S.B.B.-K.K.Nagar:
Children spend the best part of their day in school, so it’s important that they feel at home and want to come back the next day. Friends go a long way in making a child feel that way. If the right environment is created in school by being with the right group of friends, everything else just falls into place. Then the learning becomes easier for the students and so does teaching for us teachers. Teachers play an important role in making new students feel welcome and settle down in their new environment. My suggestion to break the ice would be a warm smile and a friendly hand. Don’t wait for others to extend their hand of friendship; why don’t you do it and you’ll see that most people reciprocate well.