Because of frequent moves, students in military families change schools six to nine times from pre-K to high school graduation, according to the Department of Defense Education Activity. Each move and school change initiates a cycle of the Seasons of TransitionTM.
These seasons don’t always follow the school calendar, but they do follow a lifecycle of planting, growing, and thriving. In spite of the challenges created by school change, students can learn, grow, and thrive when the parent-teacher team recognizes the cycle of change the military-connected student experiences in the four Seasons of Transition:
> Season of Leaving begins with anticipation of the move and continues through final goodbyes.
> Season of Arriving begins with preparations for the first day at a new school and continues through the first parent-teacher conference.
> Season of Growing begins after the first parent-teacher conference and continues as the student begins to put down roots, becoming fully integrated into the new school.
> Season of Thriving begins when the student is integrated into a new school. During this season, the student feels secure enough to branch out and take academic and personal risks, resulting in growth. This season continues as long as the student remains at the same school.
In any of these seasons, military-connected students may also experience storms. Storms unique to military life include deployments and other family separations, as well as severe storms, such as combat loss or injury. Any of these events have the potential to disrupt a student’s learning.
For any season or storm, parents and teachers working together provide the best possible shelter for the military-connected student.
Adapted from Seasons of My Military Student: Practical Ideas for Parents and Teachers by Amanda Trimillos, EdD, and Stacy Allsbrook-Huisman (2018, Elva Resa Publishing)
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