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.