In the News: Chelda Smith on Preparing for the New School Year

Chelda Smith, professor at the University of St. Thomas School of Education, recently spoke with The Tablet about steps that parents can take to help students adjust to the major life transitions associated with starting a new school year.

From the story:

What students across the board in these new transitions are facing is fear of the unknown, and one major way to deal with that comes straight from the Boy Scouts’ motto: Be prepared.

Or as Chelda Smith, associate professor of education at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, put it: “Preparation is the key to success.”

In an interview with The Tablet, Smith outlined steps parents can take to help kindergarteners to college freshmen, speaking from her own experience as an educator but also as a parent of a student about to start kindergarten.

Smith said one first step to put aside some of the mystery of the new school is for parents of pre-kindergarten or kindergarten students to familiarize their child with the school environment.

So, in the days leading up to school, she advises visiting the playground or even the school property or checking out the area around it.

“For all grade levels, dry runs are phenomenal,” she said.