By: Kristie Hinckley
Adjustment–it happens all the time. We have to adjust each semester when we have new classes and new teachers. We adjust when we move into a new ward. Adjustment is necessary when one returns from a mission or gets married. Children adjust when they enter a new school or when they get a new teacher. We even make small adjustments when, for example, we have Monday classes on Tuesday. We adjust to change a lot, sometimes without giving it very much thought at all.
I just returned from serving a mission in Europe. It was amazing, but I had absolutely no idea about the adjustment that stood before me as I returned home. I had no idea how much I would miss the people I served with on my mission, or how hard it would be to adjust socially, academically, and emotionally. I just thought it would be exciting and wonderful to be with my family, and it was! But, it was also inexpressibly hard at times. I have been home for just over three months and I am finally getting used to life at home.
Now, imagine how hard it would be for a student going from, let’s say, kindergarten to first grade. He or she has new classmates, a new teacher and classroom, and possibly is going to school for a few more hours than the previous year. Changing seats was always stressful. Imagine how it must feel for a first grader to enter a whole new classroom. He has to figure out rules of a new classroom setting and build a relationship with a new teacher.
Now that we have imagined what it’s like for a student to undergo a grade change, imagine what it would be like for a teacher to get a new class and make all kinds of adjustments, starting from the ground up in building relationships with students, establishing strong foundations of classroom management, and more!
How will you help your future students make smooth adjustments into your class? Evaluate the ways in which you adjust to new situations and new people NOW, so that you will know how to help students LATER.