Sunday, August 26, 2007

New kid in town

From song "New girl in town" in movie/musical "Hairspray":

You better tell the homecoming queen

To hold on to her crown
Or she's gonna lose it to
The new girl in town

My 6 year old daughter G is the "new girl in town", starting first grade after Labor Day in a new school. She (probably) won't be "stealing" anyone's boyfriend like Tracy in "Hairspray", and her sweet disposition helps her make friends readily, but I still feel anxious - I'm trying to NOT pass that along to her. G already has a new best buddy B who lives next door, also starting first grade. Tomorrow there is "meet and greet your teacher" time and new student orientation at the school, so we'll become acquainted with the lay of the land together.

Every year I have 3 or 4 students on my team (of about 120 students) who are new to the school. It's interesting to see how well and soon they each "settle" into the social (most important to students) and academic lives of the school. In the classroom, I use common prior knowledge and experiences to teach new knowledge, but that doesn't always work for new students. Asking the new student to share his/her prior knowledge and experiences is balancing trick - just enough to create an inclusive atmosphere but not too much to make them feel awkward about being different (the worst social disease, according to students).

So here's my exhortation for us working in the schools -

Hey look out for that moving van
Look out, look out, look out, look out

for the new kids in town.


Orchid in the Bronx said...

Break a leg with the new school year. My new kid on the block experience - the traumatic one - was from church. (Actually, every new church experience, all the way into adulthood, has been traumatic, now that I think of it.) I was horribly shy, and in church (unlike school) being smart does not really work in your favor. Anyway, hopefully G. will meet one or two nice kids, and that will make all the difference.

yh said...

I don't remember my new school experience... maybe it was so bad, I blocked it out. LOL... I'm sure G won't have a problem with the new school... afterall, everything that was once new.. can be considered old hat now :) New experiences are what shapes people's lives :)

StephanieBrown said...

I had a GREAT new school experience. I was a little older, but it's great because you can bring an air of mystery with you. I'm sure G will do awesome!