Ch-ch-ch-changes! - Students in Transition

Ch-ch-ch-changes! - Students in Transition
Ch-ch-ch-changes! - Students in Transition
Nancy Remondi - Middle School Counselor

Changes and moves can be exciting as they provide new beginnings, challenges, and opportunities. This year, the International School of Kenya welcomed 244 new students; 54 are in the Middle School.

Changes and moves can be exciting as they provide new beginnings, challenges, and opportunities. This year, the International School of Kenya welcomed 244 new students; 54 are in the Middle School.

As the middle years are a time when young adolescents focus on friendships and finding their niche within an ever-changing social dynamic, it's important to ensure a solid start whereby students feel welcomed and accepted.

In order to provide a smooth transition for our newcomers, the Middle School hosted a New Student Orientation led in part by Student Ambassadors. The goal of the event was to have each new student smiling by the time they returned home.

In the company of counselor, teachers, Student Ambassadors and student volunteers, newcomers engaged in games ranging from life-size Jenga to active games that focused on names and common interests. Afterwards, in teams grouped by grade-level, students participated in a cross-campus Scavenger Hunt before enjoying a pizza lunch in the company of new friends.

If the photos are any indication, I think we met our goal of smiling faces!

For all families in transition, remember that adjusting to a new place takes time. So remember to be kind and patient with yourselves and your family members. Be sensitive to the fact that each family member is on his/her own transition journey. Here is a list of ideas of ways to help families get settled:

  1. Be sure to take good care of yourself (balanced diet, enough sleep, daily exercise, relaxation time, etc.).
  2. Recognize stress reactions and culture shock and take measures to help relieve them (take a walk in a park, join a team, etc.)
  3. Consider an outlet for your feelings such as journaling, art, music, dance!
  4. Write and call friends and share new experiences. Reach out to make new friends (join clubs, go to the movies, go out for dinner, etc.)
  5. Explore your new home. Plan outings on weekends. Get involved.
  6. Review the benefits of your move: a chance for new beginnings, exposure to new ways of thinking and feeling, new opportunities for growth, chances to meet new people and get to know new places.
  7. Recognize that "this too shall pass." This is an expected period of adjustment (and probably not the end of the world).
  8. Keep your sense of humor; be able to laugh at yourself and the ironies of life.
  9. Seek out a counselor or mentor at your new school to receive extra support when you are going through a difficult time.

ISK's team of counselors are here for you!

Warm Regards,

Nancy Remondi

Middle School Counselor