We’ve all felt the moment of panic when we find out we are getting a new student. It doesn’t have to be stressful! I am going to walk you through what to do when you get a student mid year so it is a smooth transition for the student and for you.
It doesn’t need to be stressful getting a new student! If you follow these four tips, you and your student will have a smooth transition together!
Prep Extras of All the Essentials
In the summer or beginning of the school year, prep an extra set or two of all your essentials: schedules, daily communication logs, token boards, visuals, blank data sheets, etc. If you have an extra set of your must haves, you’ll immediately feel less stressed. This will also set your new student up for success. You don’t have to have extras of everything, but make sure the essentials are ready to go at a moments notice.
Send Home a Family Questionnaire
Send home your back to school family questionnaire to your new student’s family. These forms will help you get to know your student and family a lot better. I keep these filed in our IEP binders.
Do a Preference Assessment
While your student is getting acclimated to the classroom, do a quick preference assessment to learn what their preferred reinforcers are. This is going to be instrumental in building a relationship with them. You want them to get comfortable with you and see you as the giver of all their favorite things.
Observe, Play, Reinforce
The first week you have your new student, do these three things: observe, play, reinforce. Let them explore their surroundings and observe what they do and how they interact. Play with them! When you observe them interested in something, interact with them in a fun manner. Reinforce, reinforce, reinforce! Anything positive you see them do, reinforce! The more you reinforce their behavior, the better your relationship will become.
You’ve got this! Above all, make sure their needs are met, have lots of positive interactions with them, and begin building your relationship with them. Check out this blog post for more tips on getting to know your students!