By Mary Ellertson
You and your child are shopping for new clothes, picking out backpacks, filling them with crayons, paper and other school supplies, finding the perfect lunchbox – this can only mean it’s the start of a new school year! Dealing with a new classroom, new teacher, new school, and making new friends can create mixed feelings for both parents and children alike.
Here are 5 ways to help reduce potential first-day jitters, and ensure you’re all on track for a successful school year:
1. Return to School Year Routines
Summer break is a wonderful time for renewal and laid back schedules. However, think about returning to school year routines a couple weeks before the first day of class. This may include going to bed a little earlier, setting the alarm clock to wake up a little earlier, and establishing good eating habits.
2. Visit the School, Classroom, and Meet The Teacher before the First Day of School
Most schools hold an open house before the year begins. This is the perfect time to familiarize your child with the school. Locate the bathrooms, playground, cafeteria and the library. Knowing the school campus and environment will help them feel more comfortable on their first day. Visit the classroom and meet the teacher. This helps set the stage for a strong communication partnership between you and the teacher. Finally, find your child’s desk and check out different parts of the classroom. Take a picture of your child at their new desk and talk about it later at home. All of these activities will help dispel fears of the unknown.
3. Share Your Excitement about Learning
Share your excitement about learning new things. Remember together this past summer’s learning. Enthusiasm and curiosity create motivation. Motivation creates passion. And passion promotes excitement about the learning to come.
4. Set Goals for the School Year
Encourage your child to set learning goals for the academic year. Establishing goals provides a sense of purpose. Knowing how to set goals develops a lifelong mindset which results in building self esteem and confidence. Dream big and with hard work it will happen!
5. Organization is Key
Think out your morning routines the night before. You might lay out clothes, prepare lunches, have backpacks ready to go and set by the door so the morning is as stress free as possible.
Finally, don’t forget to keep reading together every night. This is one of the most important habits we can instill as parents. Children who read are children who succeed! If you have a younger student at home, check out the newest Pigeon book, The Pigeon has to Go to School by Mo Willems.
The Education Department at Scottsdale Community College wishes everyone a successful and fun filled year of learning!
Mary Ellertson served 15 years in the classroom as a teacher, and today she is an Education Professor and Program Director for Teacher Certification as part of the Scottsdale Teacher Education Program (STEP) at Scottsdale Community College. STEP is a one-year teacher certification immersion program. For more information, visit Education program page.