I’m fortunate to have enjoyed a great childhood – loving parents, loyal pets, friends to hang out with, and a younger brother to torment. Yep, it was pretty good. However, if I had to choose one aspect that I most definitely did not enjoy about my growing up years, it would be all the moves we made. I absolutely dreaded being the “new kid” in school. My aforementioned extroverted brother seemed to make the transitions easily enough, but it was tough-going for this introvert. So when I get a new student added to my roster after the school year has already started, I do what I can to make their first days as stress-free as possible. For both of us. Because, c’mon, as a teacher, getting that notice in your mailbox that another little human will be joining your classroom tomorrow morning is one more task on an already really long to-do list.
Way back in August when I was putting together everything for my new class, I made a few extras for the inevitable new student. Not only that, but I packaged a few other “we’re glad you’re here” items that I hoped would make any new student happy – a pencil, a no-homework coupon, plus a few forms giving useful information.
Adding a new student to your roster also requires lots of little tasks that seem so easy to remember at the start of a school year. However, I didn’t want to rely on memory alone to make sure I’d completed all these tasks so I made a checklist of everything I did in August to prepare for a new group of kids. Almost all of it would be needed should I get a new student. I’ve included my checklist in the freebie linked at the bottom of this post as inspiration for your own checklist since these tend to be pretty unique to the individual teacher.
I bought some large white envelopes and created this cover, which I taped to the front of the envelopes. You could also use a plain file folder or simply paper-clip everything together. Whatever works for you.
Being a busy teacher means also having a special “helper” put your welcome kits together! Seriously, though, if you have the basic materials collected in a large basket, this would be a great task for a parent to help you assemble the kits.
Unfortunately, some students arrive at school with just themselves and the clothes on their backs so I included a pencil in the welcome kits. (Not just any ol’ #2 pencil either, but a top-of-the-line Ticonderoga!!) This, along with a no-homework coupon, is my way of sending the message to each new student, “We’re glad you’re here!”
How do you welcome new students to your class? What are the essentials that you think should be in a new student welcome kit? Click on the link below to get started creating your own welcome kits. Happy teaching!