Summer is over and school is in session! Teachers, as you prepare to welcome your students back, take a minute to think about how your students are feeling when getting back into the swing of things.

Are they in an environment where they feel comfortable? Do they know all of their peers? And most importantly, are they in an environment where they feel they can open up and ask questions?

Below are three things you can do as a teacher to make sure your students feel comfortable as they being this new school year!

1.) Team Building Activities – The best ice breaking activities are ones that jump right into the learning process. There are many STEM/STEAM activities that can engage your students on every level, allowing them to work with one other to achieve a common goal. While working with one another students will grow to know each other, developing friendships along the way and in turn, making them feel more comfortable. These friendships can last a lifetime!

2.) Let your students pick their seat – Students will generally be happier when they have the ability to choose where they want to sit and who they want to sit with. Yes, this can cause distractions but this is a privilege, and you can take this privilege away if it gets out of hand.

3.) Create a welcoming environment – Make your classroom fun! Think back to when you were a kid; can you think of that one classroom with the teacher you always wished you had? Create that classroom! Posters and inspirational wall art are great starts and you can never go wrong with a class pet. Creating an environment that inspires creativity is exactly what you should be shooting for. The goal is to make your students feel like possibilities are endless!

Taking these three elements into consideration, have fun coming up with your own ways to engage your students on a creative level that will make them feel comfortable. Good luck this school year!