At Canadian Academy, transitions are a fact of life. Whether it is moving to a new country, a new school, a new building, friends moving away or more simply a new grade level, students can be challenged by the upheaval of change. This past week, in our innovative Principal's Coffee program, Mr. Soini and Mrs. Brown shared their thoughts on managing change.
During transitions, children (and adults, too!) move through several stages. Generally, mixed feelings first accompany the change-- 'I'm happy to try something new, but I'm sad to leave behind what I know. I want to go, but I don't want to go.' Fortunately, there are some steps that help ease the transition.
First, reconcile conflicts with others. Leaving behind unfinished issues and problems will at best leave a nagging feeling, and at worst, continue to wear away over a long period of time. It is also important to affirm the positive relationships they have enjoyed. Saying farewell to people, places, pets and possessions is helpful, as is thinking ahead by gathering information about the next destination.
If your child is changing grades but staying at Canadian Academy, a great deal of time and consideration is spent on creating new learning communities. Classroom teachers, our school counselors, EAL teachers, learning support teachers and specialist teachers work together to make a proposal to the principal. A working draft of the class lists is completed in May, helping to ensure a balance of cultural backgrounds, languages, learning needs, learning habits, and social needs. These lists are again reviewed and revised in August, as we always welcome more than 90 new students to our school over the summer.
It is exciting and positive to have new classmates and a new community. We encourage families to have positive conversations, promoting diversity in friendships. As we are an inclusive school, by welcoming everyone, your child will know that they belong, too.