If you’ve ever been a new person at school , work or anywhere in general you know how nerve wrecking and anxiety inducing this can be. Chances are your child will be just as scared and nervous if they will be attending a new school.
One thing you can do before school starts is to visit their new school. Call the front office and see if a visit inside the building will be possible. With Covid and school rules and regulations changing often , this may or may not be an option depending on your child’s district.
If it is an option and you’re allowed to , bring your child along , ask for a tour and have them show you the classroom your child will be in. Having some familiarity with the school can help lessen the anxiety a great deal for your child before that first day.
See if you can meet with your child’s teacher while you’re there. Here in NJ teachers report to school a week prior to students . If you’re visiting right before the start of school there is a chance that the teacher may be there. If they’re available , you can get a quick hello and have them introduce themselves to your child.
If going inside the school is not an option you can still visit the school and discuss what will be happening with your child. If you’re going to be driving your child to school, take them with you as you drive by the school. Help them get familiar with the route you’ll take each day. If they’ll be taking the school bus, practice walking to the bus stop , and then take the time to drive them along that route they’ll be taking so they know where they’re going.
By taking the time to go with your child to their new school you are helping them be prepared. They will be more comfortable going into their first day because they have a general idea of what to expect.
Have discussions around what will be happening. If they will be in a bigger setting , explain to them that they will be seeing more children than they are used to. Talk to them about what their day will look like and a general idea of what they can expect during their school day. For example, you can tell them that they will have multiple teachers , they will be eating lunch in a cafeteria , they will have classmates that they may have to share materials with. The more background knowledge they enter with regards to what school will be like , the more prepared they will be to conquer that first day.