Dealing with First-Day Jitters

It's Back to School time for students across much of Kansas this week, and that means, for some families, the "First Day Jitters" are beginning to become a reality.

Walking into class for the first time can be intimidating, especially when you're starting in a new school.

We talked with Shea Miller. This is her first year of teaching back home in Goddard where she grew up.

She wants her 150 Social Studies students to know that the staff is there to support them.

She says she's excited about her first day of teaching at Eisenhower Middle School, but knows that not everyone feels that way.

She encourages students who might feel uneasy to allow themselves time to adjust. They can also talk with a trusted teacher, counselor or principal.

Lean on friends, and don't be afraid to make new ones.

Miller says Middle School can be overwhelming at first, but students will adjust.

"It's such a big change from elementary into the secondary level. they have their lockers, they're changing every hour, they have different teachers, different expectations of them every single 45 minutes to an hour." Shea said. "There's also no recess. I know a lot of kids are – 'oh my gosh! We don't have recess. What are we going to do?' but once they get into the swing of things, it's not a big deal."

Miller says parents can also reach out to their child's teacher or school if they noticed their child continues to feel nervous about school.

Be sure to ask your children how they're feeling about classes, teachers and friends - and offer help and advice when needed.

We also talked with Goddard High School math and engineering teacher, Cassie Banka. She says she understands the nerves that come with the step into high school.

She's been teaching for nine years and says her main message to students who feel a little nervous about the first day is to "find your tribe."

Banka says she knows not every student has that 'group' just yet, some may be moving to a new district or just feel a little left out.

She says it's best for students to just be themselves, and not try to be someone they aren't in order to fit in.

Banka also asks parents to be their child's "cheerleader" in those often-stressful first few days.

"Encourage them to keep going. There are going to be things in life where we're a little anxious or a little timid," Banka said. "It turns out to be one of the best things that can happen to us. It's just scary and nerve wracking. So love on them, encourage them, and keep them coming to school."

Banka says she looks for kids who might be a little uneasy, and makes an extra effort to get to know them.

She asks students to do the same, and reach out to their peers who could use some encouragement.