De-stressing back to school
Shopping for school supplies and new clothes is a necessary part of the back to school process. Of course, making sure your kids are prepared for their return to school can be a strain on the old pocket book, but there are some other issues that parents and caregivers need to be concerned with, as well.
“What if I forget my locker combination?” “Is my teacher nice?” “Will the other kids like me?”
All kids from Pre-k to high school can display signs of stress and anxiety when faced with the start of a new school year.
“I spend a good portion of the first few days of school establishing a routine, reviewing expectations and procedures, and covering all of the possible scenarios including lab safety and fire drills,” said Kim Cooper, fourth grade teacher at Bridge City Intermediate.
“Knowing exactly what to expect can lessen a students’ anxiety level and allow them to focus on curriculum.”
There are also several ways that parents can alleviate back to school anxiety.
Family routines tend to slide in the summer. Crazy bedtimes, snow cone suppers, and living in only swimsuits and flip flops, can make it difficult to readjust to the school’s schedule and dress code. Before school starts, parents need to focus on more appropriate bedtimes, healthy foods, and family time.
“Practice school day routines and bedtimes a week before school starts so that the new routine is established. This will lessen student anxiety” said Karen Anthony, counselor at Orangefield Junior High.
Show them the facilities. If your child is new to the school, show your child his classroom, what entrance and exit to use and where the bathroom is located. If he is taking the bus, visit the bus stop location and explain how to get on and off, especially if it’s the first time. Show him the drop off and pick up spot at school, too. If you’re not sure where it will be, call the school ahead of time to find out.
Orangefield ISD will host a “Meet the Teacher” for Pre-K through eighth grade, Thursday, Aug. 19. The elementary will be open from 2-3 p.m. and the junior high campus from 3:30-4:45 p.m. Bridge City will also host parent orientations prior to the first day of school; with times varying for each campus and grade level.
Another stress reducer for everyone is to prepare the teacher. Let your child’s teacher know about any health, behavior, or personal issues that might impact student performance in the classroom. A teacher’s time may be limited right now, but communication could be made through e-mail, by phone, or letter, if you are unable to meet with them in person.
Don’t forget to talk to your kids. Talk about back to school and activities associated with this time of year, but keep it positive. Kids really pay attention to your vibe. In the end, remember that it’s normal to feel a little nervous before going back to school. Even teachers get a little nervous about the first few days of school.