Support for Whanau

Supporting your children’s class placement in 2023

It is totally normal for parents and children to have a preference for a particular teacher for a range of reasons. It is also normal to feel disappointed if they don’t get who they would like. However, it is important that we don’t let that disappointment cloud their start in 2023.

We all want children to feel excited about going to school and maybe don’t realise what an influence we, as parents, have on that. How we feel and react about next year’s changes is definitely interconnected with how our children are going to feel about it.

We all need time to process change and at first your child may feel resistant and anxious. That doesn’t mean that the change is going to be a bad thing so try to avoid adding any negative feelings you might have to the mix. Listen to them and remember what you hear in that initial moment is probably not how they are going to feel in the long term. This is why many schools will suggest giving your child six weeks to settle in because we know that most children will adjust to the change positively. It is also important to remind them that they do not have to be excited about the teacher, but they can still learn from them.

Children learn, grow and strengthen in resilience by being with a wide range of personalities and communication styles and by facing challenges. When things are always familiar and easy they can get stuck in their comfort zone. To build confidence for later in life, our children need to experience and adjust to a broad range of peers and situations.

Please trust the process of placement. There are a lot of layers involved in how classes are allocated and school leaders and teachers put a huge amount of thought into it. We genuinely try to do our best with these decisions and supporting your child’s teachers and school is a crucial part of your child’s success here. Children learn when they feel safe and happy and those feelings are influenced by their parents connection to and respect for the school and teachers.

What to do if your child appears worried about their class placement?

  • Listen calmly and acknowledge their feelings - for example, “I know you really wanted X so of course you are disappointed. We can talk some more later.” (Avoid talking when their emotions are running high as their logic is switched off at this point.)

  • Once they have had time to think, talk positively about the move and focus on all the exciting things they will learn and do next year.

  • Avoid looking upset about their placement in front of them. They are looking to you to feel better. Be calm, confident and if you can’t be hopeful, be neutral. Fake it if you have to! We are our child’s emotional compass when they are feeling uncomfortable.

Keywords: resilience, change, communication, interconnectedness

Attributed to ‘Positive Minds- Australia’