High school is an important transition for students from their pre-teens to adolescence. It’s a rather big jump for every high school student to adjust to. At TYWLS, we have the same situation at hand. However, have we ever thought about how hard it is to arrive at a new school after attending online school for over a year? The new students at TYWLS must be welcomed and it is our responsibility as a sisterhood to come together and welcome the new students with open arms.
The new 9th graders, for example, have started their freshman year of high school after experiencing remote learning during their 8th-grade year. This is a sudden change for students who have switched schools. These students have suddenly been surrounded by a complex curriculum, which can be overwhelming to many students. After interviewing a 9th grader here at TYWLS about how she feels in a new environment, she responded with, “I was anxious, but my teachers were very good at guiding me. As much as you feel like you don’t belong in a place because you are new, I never felt that way and that’s what I love about TYWLS.” According to this student, one way we can make sure the 9th graders feel at ease in our school is by ensuring that the teachers spread positivity in class. This can help provide a comfortable learning space for the 9th graders. As for us students, we can start a conversation with the new freshmen. A way we can do that is by approaching them during lunch or enrichment. Ask them if they need help with homework or just check up on their day, something small like those can lighten up their hearts.
Not only are new 9th graders trying to adapt to TYWLS, but so are the new 10th graders. These 10th graders have experienced their 9th-grade year virtually and have now started their sophomore year. Some students have been in TYWLS since 9th grade while others have transferred from a different school. But the main question is: Are there any contrasting experiences between the new freshmen and sophomores?
After speaking with a 10th grader, her response to this question was, “Definitely. The 9th graders are completely new to this school while the 10th graders have a general idea of this school and know some of the people after TYWLS online learning last year.” A similar response was given by another 10th grader, who replied with, “The 9th graders will receive a full experience of their first year in highschool unlike us who never got the chance to get a taste of what being a freshman really looks like in person.”
Freshman year was unexpected for the 10th graders whether they were in TYWLS or in a different school during that time. Nothing can be done to rewind back time to experience freshman year in person. So it is up to us to try our best to approach the new 10th graders and make sure that they are doing alright in a new school environment. Little things like asking them about how they are feeling can help them adapt.
The new freshmen and sophomores this year will need the support of all the students and teachers to help them adjust to TYWLS. Let’s all make sure the new freshmen enjoy their first year in highschool and give our sophomores the best year to remember to substitute for last year’s virtual mayhem. After all, it is our duty as a community to sustain a warm space for the new highschoolers. Let’s all welcome our new sisters to our family of leaders!