Change can be challenging to children. Have you ever had to switch schools? As if going through the transition of a move isn't difficult enough, research says that the most common target for a bully is . . .
you guessed it, the new kid.
Do you know about The New Bear At School by Carrie Weston? It's a fun read-aloud! Boris doesn't quite fit in; what is this experience like for him? How would your kids feel if they were Boris? What would they need? And what will it take before he's accepted into his new school family?
We have an ideal at school we call L.I.N.K. (Let's Include New Kids!). I call it an ideal because it's not really a program or a club, but it's something we feel passionate about, that new students become part of our family and feel included right away. In the past, we've even held special events for them, like a Reader's Theater with the administrators or a Root Beer Float treat in the Library, so they could meet one another and connect. This clip from Sesame Street that I snuck into a few of my empathy lessons strengthened my resolve that our newbies do, in fact, feel included when they move to our school. Just listen to the tone in Elmo's voice before and then after. Powerful! What do you do to include your new kids on the block?