“An Outstretched Hand,” Friend, June 2005, 40
Moving can be a scary thing, especially when you go from sixth grade in an elementary school to sixth grade in a middle school, as I did.
My mom took me to school on my first day to get me enrolled. After a quick tour of the school with the school counselor, we were taken to my classroom. My teacher wasn’t there when we arrived, so the counselor said he would find her and let her know I was new in the class. Then he left us with a class full of kids busy with schoolwork.
I was becoming nervous when one boy turned around and said, “Are you new?”
I said, “Yes.”
He stood up, walked over, stuck out his hand, and said, “Hi, I’m Chase.”
“I’m Zack,” I said, shaking his hand. To my surprise, several other boys lined up with outstretched hands and introduced themselves. I didn’t dare look at my mom because I thought she might be crying because these boys made me feel so welcome. I felt good the rest of the day because a group of boys noticed someone who needed a handshake.
After school, my mom asked me how it felt to have a welcome like that. “It felt good!” I said. She told me that if I ever noticed a new person, I would know what to do to make them feel good, too.