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Schools connected to overseas U.S. military bases often try to restrict class sizes—to about 18 or 20 pupils—so teachers can develop closer relationships with their students.

A teacher’s primary obligation is to make sure newcomers integrate into their classes as quickly as possible, says Amy Peaceman, who recently retired after 41 years of teaching in Department of Defense schools.

“A couple of students are assigned to new kids the first couple of days to walk them through the school and make sure they get from one class to another,” says Peaceman. “We make sure they’re starting to make friends and that they have several people with whom they’re really comfortable.”


Link to main story: How schools are making room for the military


Because the military is more diverse than ever, teachers try to foster an environment that is accepting of differences, and that recognizes students’ multicultural backgrounds as assets. To this end, teachers work hard to prevent bullying and intervene immediately should they see any sign of it.

Teachers also try to make sure students have a thorough understanding of international news—from outbreaks of violence to global political developments—that might impact their families directly or indirectly.

Psychologists and counselors are available to talk to students about how to handle the emotions and stress these events may cause. 


Lois Elfman is a freelance writer whose work often addresses educational issues.