New Students Feel Welcome
Photo Credit: St. John's D.S.G

A teacher in Pietermaritzburg wrote a book to help new students feel more welcome, and other schools should take a leaf from her book.


Pietermaritzburg, South Africa (12 June, 2023) — Starting school as the new kid and being thrown into a swimming pool head-first aren’t that different. For some, the pool is the perfect temperature and lilacs are floating all around you. For others, it’s a little too deep and feels more like you’ve just been thrown into an Olympic 50-metre extravaganza. Either way, you have to swim. And it never hurts to have someone root the right directions to you—or at least the warmer spots.

One teacher in Pietermaritzburg took on the rooting role in a beautiful way. Mrs Samantha Evans from St John’s D.S.G didn’t just tell green junior students which way to turn, she wrote a whole book to make new students feel welcome, sharing why the library’s doors are open arms.

As the school Resource Centre Teacher, Mrs Evans carries the baton that many librarians have passed on by offering the library as a place where anyone can take some breathers from their laps through school.

The initiative to write ‘Tumi’s Library Visit’ follows another book Mrs Evans wrote to help students feel welcome after they returned to school during the pandemic.

She shares:

“In 2020 I wrote a book for the Junior School girls to help them better understand what they could expect when they returned to school from being at home in lockdown during the pandemic.

“The girls have absolutely loved being able to take this book out of the library and have enjoyed seeing St John’s D.S.G. represented in a book. Since then, an idea has been brewing to write another book, but this time for the new girls who start at the school to share what they can expect from our Library.”

The book is aimed at girls looking for all the wonders a library holds:

If you are a St John’s girl who is new,
Then this book is especially for you!
If ever you are feeling blue,
There is a place with a rainbow hue.
In the library, you are always welcome,
No matter where you come from.

We think this teacher going the extra mile to make young students feel welcome is a tall order of wholesomeness. And, if more schools took initiatives like this, the proverbial plunge into new waters might become less of a shock and so much more of a leisurely cruise.

Sources: St John’s D.S.G
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About the Author

Ashleigh Nefdt is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Ashleigh's favourite stories have always seen the hidden hero (without the cape) come to the rescue. As a journalist, her labour of love is finding those everyday heroes and spotlighting their spark - especially those empowering women, social upliftment movers, sustainability shakers and creatives with hearts of gold. When she's not working on a story, she's dedicated to her canvas or appreciating Mother Nature.

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