Q: How have you been helping freshman adjust to high school?
One way that I feel like I help freshmen adjust to high school is by encouraging them to communicate with me when they have questions. One thing I am really passionate about is establishing that students can get in touch with me via email whenever they have questions, and that really helps my freshmen when they have questions or concerns and don’t have an opportunity to ask in class. Because they know I will respond quickly, they are more likely to reach out, and everyone benefits as a result.
I have done my best to help the incoming freshmen by taking a little extra time at the beginning of each class to chat with them regarding policies, procedures and even fun high school traditions that might be different from middle school. The first week back on campus, I had a large group of kids who were all going to the same class next and they were clearly anxious about how to get there so we took some time to calm their nerves by going over how to get to that class. I have also spent time sharing tips with students regarding Canvas and how to use some of the features to help them prioritize their assignments.
I think that talking to them each class about how they’re doing and fielding questions about logistics is super important. I ask them if they have questions about not just content stuff but about school in general. I play Tiger Daily News for them each tiger time, and I encourage them that don’t have an extracurricular to consider those being announced. In on-level English we’re trying not to overload with work so that they have time to check missing assignments in other classes. By making them do this in class, I hope that we’re building good habits.
I like to help freshmen build connections with other students in their grade and in the school in general. By finding something they might have in common with another student they can begin to feel more comfortable in a seemingly intimidating yet exciting environment.
Other than constantly reaching out to students to remind them of missing work and encouraging them to reach out to their teachers if they need help with anything, we have implemented a number of activities in my Pre-AP English I and GPS classes meant to support the transition from middle school to high school. We’ve done an email etiquette assignment in which we taught students how to appropriately and professionally format emails to teachers. In GPS, during the first couple of weeks, we also implemented mini lessons on academic strategies such as organization, note taking, and learning styles that are imperative to success at the high school level.
By Abby Hernandez, Staff Writer
Featured photo by Riordan Tiller