A New Year a New Room

by MJ Fisher

B. Soc. Sc.; GradDip Teaching; Dip. Care and Ed.

With the excitement of the festive season behind us, attention now turns to the events a New Year brings.  For some children the excitement of going up to a new room or year level is welcomed, an adventure they cannot wait to sink their teeth into.  The flip side for children less enthused about new room adventures is the worry which accompanies the unknown of a new teacher/educator, other staff, and the increased expectations to learn.

Normalising the fear of the unknown

While it might be easy to assume that all children should be like the great adventurers that grab change and run with it, there is an importance to normalise the feelings that prevent some children from accepting change as easily as their counterparts.  The human body is designed to be wary of new things.  For some children, like the adventurers, their ‘wariness towards change dial’ is turned down.  For the remainder it can be tuned anywhere between a little and a lot higher.

Thinking that the children who have a higher sensitivity towards change have something wrong with them is an incorrect assumption.  Put simply, the feelings and trepidation they have towards new experiences is just their body letting them know that the world feels different.  All that separates them and their more enthused peers is a little time and bravery to help them become masters of their own feelings. 

Common reactions to change

Children who are less likely to jump onto the change tracks will often present with emotional reactions ranging from mild reservation to emotional overload...