THE FIRST DAYS OF PRESCHOOL...
Preschool is, for many children, the first introduction to being left "alone" in an unfamiliar place with strangers. It can be an anxious moment for both children and parents and we try, and hope, we can make it as comfortable as possible for everyone.
You can ease anxiety by letting your child know that this will be a fun experience where children get to do lots of exciting projects and meet new friends. If you are anxious, your child will be anxious. Avoid too many words if you think you will have difficulties. Please read below for suggestions specific to our classroom. It's also important to have what you need (extra clothing, inside shoes, jacket, etc) to make sure your child does not feel like s/he is missing something.
Toys and security blankets are NOT recommended and must be left either in the backpack or taken back to the car for an end of school comforting "surprise."
During the first two weeks or so, we strongly suggest that parents leave promptly after saying goodbye to avoid extreme feelings of separation anxiety in both child and parent.
- Hang coat and change shoes before coming to the classroom.
- Make happy conversation like:
- "I wonder what kind of cool project the teachers have for you today!"
- "I wonder what you're having for snack, yum!"
- "Maybe you will be so lucky and go for a run in the gym!"
- "I bet you're going to the playground. You LOVE the playground!".
- Bring your child inside and sign the attendance form and we will greet you at the door and then you can guide your child to her/his favourite activity centre.
- Leave promptly with something like, "I'm going now and I will see you in the playground. I know you are going to have lots of fun!"
Leave the rest to the teachers!
If a child is crying, one of us will greet the child and allow for some time to settle down and then, when we feel it is safe, we will give you a hint that you can leave. You can always wait a little outside the blue fire doors to see if the child settles (which will most likely happen within 10 minutes). We will always stay close to a child in distress.
Come back 10 or 15 minutes before the end of class, especially if you suspect your child may be anxious. This lets your child know you are keeping your word (learn trust) and will be an assurance for next time: "Remember I came back when you were so happy playing in the playground? Today I'll come watch you play again!"
Here are some references that may be (fun) and helpful: