How do you ensure a smooth transition for the children in your class?
It’s swiftly coming round to that time of year again, when children forget all the time and effort you’ve put into their education and quickly move on to the next and more exciting teacher who will lead them into the great unknown.
Whilst your class may appear fickle and keen to move to pastures new, the reality is they are terrified of change and keen to stay in your reassuring environment.
And it’s not just those children moving to a new school that need a helping hand – it’s every child moving to a new year group, a new classroom, a new teacher, a new learning experience. Come September, they may be returning to the same school but life will be different and it’s good to get children used to this as soon as possible.
10 Top Transition Tips
I’ve put together 10 things that I think will help you and your class to safely navigate the choppy waters of transition and get through the last few weeks with smiles on your faces.
1. Take your class to their new classroom
It may sound silly but a look at the furniture they are going to be sitting on in 2 months time really helps settle children’s nerves! My class were keen to know the colours of the chairs; once they saw the bright red, the questions stopped!
2. Allocate jobs
Give the children with anxiety some jobs to do as an excuse to see their new teacher – building up a routine gets it set in children’s heads that this will be their new normality come September. The new teacher will probably appreciate getting the heads up about them and they will also feel very important carrying that Post-it note!
3. Teacher photo
Take a picture of the new teacher for children to take home over the summer – whilst it may sound creepy, some children like to have that familiarity so they can recognise their teacher when they return in September. Perhaps a photo taken in the new classroom will add that extra bit of reassurance.
4. Answer all their questions
Attempt to answer any question, no matter how silly – a child recently asked me how old they will be in their new classroom. I answered them.
5. Accept that you are now old news
Whilst you may have been a hero/surrogate parent/reassuring shoulder to cry on for nearly a year, the time has come for your fledglings to find a new idol. You will always be there for them, but they have got new heroes to discover.
6. Don’t compete
Don’t try and compete with the new teacher – they will always be shinier than you.
7. Have a handover meeting
Book in time for a comprehensive handover to their new teacher – who is the child that needs keeping an eye on? Who hides their light under a bushel but knows all their times tables? Who is most likely to nab your Blu-Tak if you put it on your desk? All these things are vital information for a new teacher taking over!
8. Help them to ‘pack’
Make sure children take any resources with them to their new class – particularly for children with SEN, who may have specific pens, pencils, slopes etc. Knowing they will be in place for them in September makes that transition much smoother.
9. Explain their new place in the school
Are your class the new top dogs? Are they going to a new key stage? Who are they role models for?
10. Don’t YOU be nervous!
Try to hide any nerves that you may have – this day was always going to come. Your class are probably more ready for it than you realise. The question is, are you?
You might also like to read…