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Peer Mentors for New Students

Found in: building trust and community; new students

There are several things I do to help new students acclimate to my classroom when they join us in the middle of the year. Our principal always brings a new student and his/her family to meet the teacher before he/she begins in our classroom. I give that student a brochure about my class that a former student created. I ask my students if any of them has ever been "the new kid" and what helped them get oriented to their new school. We also talk about the similarities and differences between our school and their previous school.

I have my other students mentor the new student. Often students overwhelm the new student, so I ask certain students to show the new student specific things about our school and classroom, but not all at once. During the first week of their arrival, I also meet with the student and one of his/her mentors to answer any questions and offer information about expectations and the like. It has been my experience with new students that by the second week of their arrival, they are fully acclimated, and it is difficult to believe they were ever "new."


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