How To Bring New Students Into Your Peaceful Classroom

If you aren’t careful, a new student can severely disrupt your classroom and the peace you’ve worked so hard to obtain.

Although often calm and quiet in the beginning, whatever habits and behaviors were permitted at their previous school will eventually bubble to the surface.

Smart Classroom Management: How To Bring New Students Into Your Peaceful ClassroomSo it’s important not to be lulled into thinking that first day or two that all is well.

It’s important not to assume that they’ll figure it out for themselves.

Or by mirroring a fellow student.

While assigning a partner can indeed be helpful, there are some things you must teach them yourself.

There are some things you mustn’t leave to chance.

The good news is that it doesn’t take much.

Typically, a ten minute conference with the new student is all that is needed to ensure a peaceful transition.

Here’s how:

Set the tone.

It’s good to smile and be pleasant during your meeting, but you also want to convey the weighty responsibility of being part of your classroom.

The existent peace and commitment to learning is sacred and should undergird your words and tone.

Set the expectation.

Very simply and directly state that in your classroom students behave, and that will be expected of them as well.

Then pause and let your words sink in. Allow the silence to enhance their gravity rather than be diluted with further explanation.

Tell them how.

Merely setting your core expectation isn’t enough. You must tell the student what they need to do—or not do—to fulfill that expectation.

Using your class rules as a guide, explain what each rule means and how it’s to be followed.

Tell them what.

Next, you’re going to lay out your consequences.

Include what they are, how they work, and the steps a misbehaving student would take from warning to parent contact.

Make a promise.

Explain that the class rules and consequences are meant to protect their right to learn and enjoy school and that it’s your job to make sure that that happens.

You’ll then make the same promise you make to all of your students that you will follow your classroom management plan to a tee.

Share your packet.

Pull out a copy of the parent information packet you sent home at the beginning of the school year.

Together with the student, read through the aforementioned classroom management plan, homework policy, daily schedule, and other important information.

Get signatures.

After allowing for questions, ask the student sign the document and explain that they must take it home for their parent(s) to sign as well.

It’s important, however, to speak to their parents to introduce yourself, describe your meeting with their child, and ask them to review and sign the packet.

This is a critical step in earning their trust and support of you and your program.

The Allure

Modeling isn’t part of the above steps because new students learn quickly—instantaneously—by observing their classmates.

Of course, your classroom must be peaceful to begin with. You must have well-oiled procedures and routines for them to assimilate into.

If your classroom management is solid, and you’re steadfast in your consistency, even the most difficult new students fall in line without you having to say another word.

They see their classmates entering the room quietly. They see them raising their hand and participating. They see them engaged, smiling, and enjoying school.

They experience the intrinsic allure of a happy and productive classroom.

And they want to be part of it too.

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10 Responses to How To Bring New Students Into Your Peaceful Classroom

  1. Katie December 3, 2016 at 1:15 pm #

    Thanks for this! I’ve had much better behaviour this year in my class after setting it up correctly in the beginning, however with 6 new students throughout the time it tilted the balance slightly! While the new students mostly followed the rules, if they chose to misbehave it affected the peace of our classroom. This article will really help me out next year with my next class!

    • Michael Linsin December 3, 2016 at 1:37 pm #

      You’re welcome, Katie. I’m glad the article will be helpful.

      Michael

  2. Muhammad Zaman December 3, 2016 at 10:57 pm #

    Thanks sir. I am teaching in a remote area of Pakistan. I started reading your articles a few weeks ago. I was very much stressful due to the behaviour of students. I used all stressful methods lecturing, scolding, sarcsm and thretening etc. Now I prepared my classroom management plan and tried to imlement it. But I am facing a problem. The students are not serious. They make fun and enjoy when I inforce a warning or a time out. Another problem. I tried my best to be cool and calm but some times I could not control myself and become angry. I tried decide first method but all in vain. Please tell what can I do?

    • Michael Linsin December 4, 2016 at 11:24 am #

      Hi Muhammad,

      Your students’ behavior is a sign that you’ve lost control of your class. Also, it’s likely that you didn’t teach your plan thoroughly enough. As for keeping your cool, know that it’s critical to gaining control and creating the classroom you want.

      Michael

    • Linda Lopez December 5, 2016 at 11:02 am #

      In the interest of saving the rest of your school year, here is what I would suggest for you, Mr. Zaman: First, realize that any time you show anger, you show weakness. You must adopt a mind frame of being unflappable. No matter what happens you are calm. Second, you must gather as many students to your way of thinking as soon and as often as possible. I suggest greeting them at the door and working on developing some rapport, finding common ground, just like you would if you were meeting adults for the first time. And third, the converse of the second suggestion, if you scold or embarrass even the worst student in front of others, you will create sympathy for him. Always correct or criticize without an audience. And one other point, similar to the last, never scold the group. Always divide and conquer by speaking to them individually about their behavior. Obviously, curriculum and management are the foundations of an efficient classroom, but in the meantime, if we find ourselves in an emergency situation, these three steps will calm things down substantially.

  3. Em December 4, 2016 at 11:02 am #

    Hi Michael. This post came at a perfect time for me, as I just got a new student this week! However, this student came directly from Mexico and does not speak any English. I don’t know how to truly explain my expectations and classroom management to him. I have had other students who speak Spanish explain my expectations but I’m worried that the tone and gravity will not sink in. Any other suggestions? Thanks!

    • Michael Linsin December 4, 2016 at 11:21 am #

      Hi Em,

      The tone will still come from you as you stand by the translator. It shouldn’t be a problem.

      Michael

  4. KC December 15, 2016 at 8:01 pm #

    Michael,
    I really appreciate all of your advice and direction. My classroom this year is a huge improvement from last year. I am especially thankful for the timing of this article. When we come back from break I will have 2 new students coming from the classroom down the hall. They are being sent to me due to the large amount of behavior problems within their class. Administration is wanting to thin out the group. I plan on implementing your above guidelines. Due to the unusual situation of my “new” students do you have any other tips for making this a smooth transition?

    Thank you for your time.

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