It’s always challenging to welcome a new child into a class that has been together for several weeks. Friends have been made. On top of that, the new child will miss his old friends. Well, after 15 years of teaching, I have a couple of strategies that usually work. (Father Greg’s play strategies help, too!)
I had to use them with Bobby last week. He had moved here from another town, and was understandably shy. The first thing I did was tell the class about Bobby before he came. I asked them to be sure to be friendly, to invite him to play. When Bobby arrived, I paired him with Michael.
Michael is an outgoing child who loves everyone. He brought Bobby around the room to show him all our toys, showed him where to hang his coat and backpack. Michael was the perfect tour guide!
I kept an eye on Bobby, too, making sure he understood our routine and was being included in our activities. Bobby settled in wonderfully. Now it’s like he has belonged since August!
Oh, one more thing. I’ve been writing notes home to let Bobby’s parents know how he is doing. It’s important to connect school and home.