The house fills with anticipation. Excitement abounds with seeing friends you’ve missed all summer long. You wonder what your new classes will be like, along with how your new teachers will treat you. Welcome to school anxiety. My house currently contains two daughters consumed by it.
If it were up to my oldest daughter, she would get the right to touch and pull together all of her school clothes and school supplies in early August. She’s an obsessive compulsive organizer. She so loves to go full force at the beginning of the school year, that by the end of September she has her organizers stacked to the brim with homework assignments she’s proud to hold onto- which must be the pack rat mentality in her.
My youngest one acts like everything is calm, cool and collected as she prepares to enter junior high for the first time. Currently she’s only 10% concerned about her new teacher and school, although the way she’s snapping and bouncing off our apartment walls about any request or demand tells us otherwise. This year one of the friends in her complex will be at the same school, so I do believe her worries have subsided a touch. She’s the kind of student that never presents a problem in class, always polite and respectful- but never asks questions when she doesn’t understand material. Then expects dear old mom and dad to teach her everything she didn’t get while she was at school 6 hours a day.
I loved school. Nervousness never entered my system- maybe projects when I had to speak in front of groups of people, but otherwise I looked forward to learning each and every day. So it’s tough for me to help my daughters feel comfortable and give them the confidence they need to know they will be fine. In our early years with them, due to where we would live in relation to the school system they got used to going to a new school every year- so I would think this year they would be used to change.
I have a number of teachers in different subject areas that probably will read this and be able to provide their opinions on this. How do you ease children and their fears in the classroom the first few days of school? Are there particular techniques that you believe would be helpful when the child comes home (outside of talking about their day… i.e. listening to them give you a play by play)? Because I know it’s been a hard day when the answers I get from my daughters are one or two word answers with little affect in their voices.
In the meantime my day will be spent doing more household chores and attempting to stay out of the way of any verbal outbursts or angry moments that may come up before bedtime. Maybe I’ll work on giving out my 12 hugs a day (thank you Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, read the Aladdin Factor for their research findings on this) to both daughters so that there is plenty of love in the apartment. They should know though I’m always in their corner, hoping that they strive to learn, to be creative and to be excited for the next day.
I so look forward to their return home. I want to hear what they enjoyed, what they’ll be working on this year and the ten thousand forms I have to fill out…