Easing Transitions for the School Year

Sep. 29th, 2017

Another blog today from Pam Hager, Ph.D. She writes:

“My sister, a schoolteacher, was sharing some of the challenges she sees when children go back to school and are facing a new school building.

It may feel like no big deal to adults. But for kids, this is a major change. They face new locations of everything associated with going to school — restrooms, cafeteria, even playground. My sister mentioned that the reactions of the children were quite mixed. Some are excited by the changes, and some are unhappy.

Her biggest concerns lay with the students who seem hesitant to get to know their new school environment. That hesitation can lead to a lack of engagement in the classroom, impeding collaboration and learning. She asked if I had any ideas to help these kids feel more comfortable.

No Matter Where You Go, Behavior Is Behavior

Behavior is behavior, and personal needs are personal needs, whether at school or in the office. So I decided to offer up some thoughts from the Q4 People Skills playbook.

My sister’s description of the worrisome students sounded like they are exhibiting Q2 behavior. These students are hesitant, unsure, and uneasy about attending the new school. The Dimensional Model of Behavior associates Q2 behavior with personal needs of security and esteemDimensional Model
This means that these children need words of reassurance and step-by-step how-to directions. They work best with educators who are willing to roll out changes incrementally, whenever possible.

Individuals who exhibit Q2 behavior are afraid they will disappoint others, or worry that they may not succeed at the upcoming transition. In order to meet Q2’s intangible needs, those who work with students (or adults) displaying Q2 behavior should provide reassuring statements and praise for incremental progress.

It will take some time and there may be some missteps, but if teachers take the time to provide students with a sense of security and esteem, most of them should begin making progress in the very near future.

Needless to say, my sister has a plan in hand for Monday morning!”

Thanks, Pam!