Students bring a myriad of experiences, hurts, and joys with them through your door. When you get a new student after the start of the year, you should remember they are seeing your room and your environment for the first time. While they may have a good family and life situation, many may not and it is those kids you should be on watch for. The smallest threat they perceive could be multiplied simply because of what they carry in their home experience. This is not always visible. For that reason, I recommend giving every child the benefit of the doubt. Assume he/she has issues and you’ll be doing many of them a huge service.
When parents are hard on their kids, it helps when the teacher is soft spoken and more understanding. You can be the emotional soothing they need from an adult. For the hours they are in your classroom you can validate them and give them a small sense of what is real and good. I do realize that we are meant to be academic in our scope but we can’t forget that we are working with children. I’ve had new students come into my room that look like a deer in the headlights. You can tell right away when they are used being yelled at. These are the kids I give extra high fives to. Remember you have a chance to, in a small way, heal the lives of future citizens. Some will be leaders in the future world. But, whether they are butchers, bakers, or candlestick makers they are all children once. Seize the opportunity to be a good influence. Don’t make coming through your door another scary place.