It's that time of year again. Kids, parents, and teachers are gearing up for the big day — the first day of school. For a lot of parents, it's just another school year. But for others, it's the very first day of school — like, ever. In a month from now I will be sending my only child to kindergarten for the first time. This is a huge transition, right? So, to ease the burden of uncertainty, I wanted to know what a kindergarten teacher wants parents to know about the first day of school.
It's always helpful to get a teachers perspective, isn't it? I surveyed teachers on (all) of my social media accounts and spoke to a few one-on-one to see what advice they had for us first timers. While a lot of teachers just want us parents to know that our children will be well cared for and treated with respect while at school, there's also some practical things to consider — like planning and preparation. All our success as parents is in the routine, right? What are some things we can do as parents to help make the transition easier for both kids and teachers? Here's what they had to say.
1. Know That They Are Safe
All of the teachers I spoke to said the same thing — they want you to know your child is in a safe environment. It's hard when you're not there and you're wondering if your child is being taken care of, but these teachers want parents to rest assured knowing your baby is safe.
2. Don't Linger
It's hard to let go, especially when your child is crying. You don't want them to feel abandoned, so you think you're helping them by staying until they've calmed down. Teachers say this makes things worse! There are trained professionals on staff to deal with children who may have a difficult time with the transition. Tell them you love them and you will be back at *insert pickup time here*, give them a kiss and then leave. School social worker and mom Erin Chilelli tells Romper, "if you know your child may have a difficult time separating from you on the first day, do a practice run. Help the child become familiar with the new routine. If possible, see if they can meet their teacher beforehand."
3. Have Faith In Their Teacher
Remember, teachers are the professionals. They've gone through years of schooling for this and have had to go through extensive interviews and background checks during the hiring process in order to be able to lead a classroom at your child's school. Let them do their job and always assume the best in your child's teacher. I mean, teachers become teachers because they're passionate about kids, right?
4. Your Child Will Be Treated With Respect
Teachers want parents to know that children will be treated with courtesy and respect. It's their job to create a nurturing environment for your child to learn. So don't worry, your child will feel welcome and included.
5. Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
As moms, we know a good routine can make or break any day. Prepare your child for the transition by talking to them about what to expect. Teachers appreciate involved parents, so if you have any questions, feel free to reach out. A good bedtime routine is essential for a smooth and successful morning, so make sure you get your routine down before the school year begins. Even bring them in on the fun. Ask them to pick out their clothes and supplies so they can feel the excitement of the new school year.
The first day of school can feel intimidating to both kids and parents but remember, teachers get nervous, too. Do your best to help your child with the new adjustment by talking to them and letting them participate in the excitement. Kindergarten is a big milestone so try to enjoy it, parents.