Transition is a reality in schools and families with children this time of year. A new school year means students move from grade to grade. This time of year, there is a lot of transition going on in the lives of our students.
Young people face many new situations: the changes of teachers, the changes in buildings, the new role as an upper-class-person, the new role as an under-class-person, a new student to district, siblings in different buildings, siblings left at home or whatever the change.
These changes are healthy and natural. They provide our young people with new experiences that build upon their established backgrounds. Because this happens every year, it is possible we may not notice how important a growth opportunity it is for young people.
Our world and the world of tomorrow will be full of systems in varying states of change and transition.
As caring educators and parents we need to be willing to provide opportunities for the young people to experience change. We need to celebrate change when it occurs. Successful adaptations to change are to be celebrated and appreciated.
Encourage educators and parents to talk with their children this fall about the newness of the school year. We can observe. We can gently probe. We can acknowledge the adjustment they are going through. We can ask how he or she is handling it.
We can have any or all of the following conversations. We can reinforce the acceptance of the struggles change might bring. We can acknowledge the reality that change isn’t necessarily easy or smooth. We need to be sure to point out how well the young person is doing with the new challenges and realities of their new year of school. And of course, we need to celebrate the successful adaptations to change.
Transition and the adjustment to it – is healthy and part of our world. We adults can help young people to move with confidence through an ever-changing world. We can support them and encourage them as they gain their autonomy and independence.