The new school year is an opportunity for parents and teachers to put fresh emphasis on bullying prevention by supporting the development of healthy social groups and friendships.
Here are some daily tips for getting the school year off to a good start. These “press the reset button” ground rules also work well at the start of a new semester or outside school hours – for after-school teams or group activities. They work at home, too – anytime you want to clear the air and start fresh.
We’ll post a new tip each day, adding to our bullying prevention “toolkit”. Check back daily!
20 Tips For Bully-Free Schools – Tip #10
Make Newcomers Feel Accepted.
It takes a minimum of 3 to 6 months for a child to feel connected to their new home, school, and neighborhood. At school, make it clear to the “old kids” that everyone is expected to introduce themselves, be friendly to, and include the new kid – in classroom activities, at lunch, at recess. Find classmates from the same neighborhood to walk home or ride the bus together. Teachers can assign rotating “friend ambassadors” for 4-8 weeks to help new kids become comfortable in their new environment. “Friend ambassadors” can help teach new kids the ropes, walk them to class, and introduce them to other friends and classmates. Parents can reinforce the welcome by inviting new kids home after school and on weekends, to get to know everyone one-on-one. Connect to the new parents too.