Know the Students
Children from US military families, known as “blue star kids,” can have a very mobile upbringing. This can make it difficult for them to make friends and adjust to a new learning environment. The faculty and students can make transitioning into a new school much more accessible by getting to know the students and allowing for a few key considerations.
Teachers need to get to know their students. Those from military families may need a short period to adjust to a regular public school. While most of this transition is addressed by the family, teachers and faculty at the school can also help Blue Star kids get back into the swing of things. Getting to know each student will give the teachers some insight into where they have lived and what type of learning experiences they’ve had.
Make Good Use of Resources for Military Students
Many students need assistance to fit in seamlessly with their classmates. One-on-one teaching or strategic lesson plans designed for smaller groups may benefit Blue Star kids with trouble adapting to a larger classroom setting. By using a new provision known as the Military Student Identifier, schools can learn what approaches are most beneficial when trying to reach military students.
Maintain a Positive Sense of Community
One of the most critical factors when helping a military child transition into a new school and classroom is establishing and maintaining a positive sense of community. Feeling like they are a part of the group makes it easier for them to transition and gives them the confidence they need to become more open to the learning process. For children who have difficulties meeting new people, counselors can be available to help the parents and assist the kids by answering questions and making sure they can navigate the school grounds and get where they need to be.
For military kids, going to school is one of the quickest ways to connect to their surroundings. They get to make new friends and learn about their new community. Both teachers and students can help Blue Star kids work their way through the various steps they must go through when entering a new school. Once the transition is complete, maintaining that sense of belonging is essential. Military students who feel like they belong adapt much quicker and get down to the task of learning sooner rather than later.