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Transitioning from summer break to the Classroom

Transitioning from summer break to the Classroom



(Continued from the last publication)

Set Small Achievable Goals

Set small goals that you know you will be able to meet. We all have big ideas and big plans for ourselves, but by setting small, achievable goals that you know you can meet, you are setting yourself for success. By achieving these small goals, you are better able to tackle those hard, long term goals in the future.

Spend a Few Days Preparing

You will feel less mentally stressed if you walk into your classroom the week before school and know that you are prepared. Instead of stressing out at the end of the summer to get things done, why not try to get organized at the end of the school year? If you do this, you will feel less panicked and more in control come the fall.

Watch a Great Teacher

Great teachers are always learning and are passionate about their job. Take some time and observe other teachers in their craft. Watching a great teacher can help mentally prepare you for the upcoming school year. It will get you excited about the difference that you can make in your classroom. If you can’t get into another teacher’s summer school class, then try watching a few different educators online. There are a number videos on YouTube that show teachers in their own classrooms demonstrating a lesson.

Managing your mental stress before the start of the new school year, will not only improve your mental stress, but your physical stress as well. When you meet your small, achievable goals be sure to treat yourself. And, don’t forget in order to have a rewarding new school year, there must be balance.


Understand that the start of the school year can be daunting for the children. They will be filled with lots of nervous energy, anxiety and may feel extremely overwhelmed. As parents, your role is of paramount importance to help in their transition and overall functioning.

Here are a few tips which may be useful for children going to school for the first time:

1. Meet the new teacher.

For children, one of the biggest back-to-school fears is “Will I like my new teacher?” Breaking the ice early on is one of the best ways to calm everyone’s fears. Take advantage of any opportunity provided to meet the teacher before the commencement of school. Some teachers may welcome phone calls or e-mails – if they do, make use of these mediums to introduce your child to his/her teacher before the first day of school.

2. Tour the school.

On registration day, be sure to go. Familiarizing your child with the environment will help to avoid a nervous stomach on the first day.

3. Connect with friends.

A familiar friend can make all the difference when heading back to school. Find out if their friends from pre-school or a previous class may also be joining them for this new school year. This way they will have someone to look forward to meeting up with from day one.

4. Tool up.

Obtaining the supplies needed for the class will place the child in a better position to begin the school year. Having the right tools will help him feel prepared. While keeping basic needs in mind, allow for a couple of splurges, like their choice of bookbag or a favourite-coloured pen. These simple pleasures make going back to school a lot more fun.

School supply lists also provide great insight into the schoolwork ahead. Get your child excited about upcoming projects by explaining how new supplies might be used. Let him practise using supplies that he’s not used before — such as a protractor — so he will be comfortable using them in class.

5. Chat about today’s events and tomorrow’s plans.

While it is important to support learning throughout the summer, don’t spend the last weeks of summer vacation reviewing last year’s curriculum or pressuring the child to read all the new material for the upcoming term. All kids need some down time before the rigours of school begin. For some children, last-minute drills can heighten anxiety, reminding them of what they’ve forgotten instead of what they remember.

6. Ease into the routine.

Switching from a summer to a school schedule can be stressful to everyone in the household. Avoid first-day-of-school mayhem by practising your routine a few days in advance. Set the alarm clock, go through your morning rituals, and get in the car or to the bus stop on time. Routines help children feel comfortable, and establishing a solid school routine will make the first day of school go much smoother.

(To be continued)