I actually LOVE the first day of school! I love being the hostess as parents come in with their kindergarten kiddos all crisp with new shoes and all! Everyone is excited for the big day and have great big smiles on! But often the smiles turn to frowns as it's time for mom or dad to leave.......and I'm not just talking about the kiddos.....I'm talking about those kindergarten parents.....YEESH!!!!
I'm telling you - those kindergarten parents are a breed of their own....especially if it's their oldest going into kinder (now don't throw stones - I'm a kinder parent myself :) Well!! As parents, it's our "baby"!! I'm speaking from experience when I say it's hard watching that little one that was born 5 short years ago go off into the world on his/her own. Never again will that child just be yours.....It's definitely a bittersweet day!
Think about how much trust those parents have to instill in you - A TOTAL COMPLETE STRANGER! As teachers, we have to keep this thought in mind.....and do what we can to ease a parent's fears and prove to them in a very short period of time that their child is in COMPETENT and CARING hands.
As teachers we also know that we can't begin forming a classroom community until those parents LEAVE. In kindergarten particularly, those kiddos WILL NOT develop a relationship with us if mom and dad is hanging around. The parents must leave for the word "teacher" to truly take hold in a child's mind.
So, those first minutes of school on the first day we, as teachers, are trying to balance between comforting a parent so they feel comfortable enough to leave their child AND getting them out that door!
I usually invite my parents in to help on the first day. They want to so my "permission" helps them feel at ease.
I want my parents to:
1. get their child situated at their spot
2. show their child how to hang up his/her backpack
3. let me know how their child is going to eat and
4. let me know how their child goes home
After that, I tell the kiddos to give their mom or dad a hug and kiss (which is really a hint to parents that it's time to go). As they leave I hand them this sweet note and Parent HUG pack!
You wanna make them to give your parents on the first day of school, right? Of course you do! :)
You will need:
clear plastic wrap
Hershey's HUGS candy kissesmy heart note template (CLICK HERE TO GRAB)
What to do:
Place a large square of clear plastic wrap -- about 12in x12in on the table.
In the center of the plastic wrap, place a folded tissue, tea bag, cotton ball, and 2 Hershey HUGS. Read the note and it will tell you what each item is for.
Fold all sides of the plastic wrap up and wrap a rubber band around as shown in picture.
Then hole-punch the parent note and thread a piece of ribbon through and tie around the rubber band -- DONE!
HOW SIMPLY AND EASY IS THAT FOR A PARENT GIFT?
(I will tell you I have used this lovely note for YEARS. I have no idea where I got it from -- somewhere on the Internet years ago. If you wrote this poem, please let me know as I would LOVE to give you due credit. My parents have always treasured it!)
Let's try something a little different...... I'd REALLY love to hear what other people do to comfort parents on the first day of school. We all have different techniques and ways of addressing this. I know there are many new kinder teachers out there that could really use our advice......so, please consider leaving a comment below to tell us how you deal with this.......
What do YOU do to ease parent concerns on the first day of school?
I can't wait to hear all the great ideas!!