What Your Child's Teacher Wants You To Know About Kindergarten

My
how the summer has flown and how surprised am I that it is already time
to start getting Emma ready to go back to school.. sigh... Sending my
oldest child to Kindergarten was quite a traumatic experience for me.
Instead of re-hashing the emotions, if you feel so inclined, you can
read about it
HERE.
But take my word for it, you would have thought that I was sending my
oldest off to college. For those of you that are sending your little
one off for the first time this year, let me say that we did survive
and it was a wonderful year and Emma grew in beautiful ways. Both, in
knowledge and in character. Though I'm going to miss my little delight
during the days, and I'm certainly not looking forward to the horrible
wake times, this year is sure to be less traumatic. One of the things
that helped me survive those first days of Kindergarten was having a
sister who is a Kindergarten teacher. Having her reassurance that
Emma's teacher wanted her to succeed as much as I and having her share
tips with me on how to help Emma succeed helped me to approach the
situation with confidence. So, I was very excited when Denise very
willingly agreed to do a guest post about the things she wishes the
parents of her students knew about Kindergarten.. And so without
further delay, I'll stop rambling on and let you hear from the expert...

When Dana first asked me to
do a guest post about kindergarten for her blog, I asked myself what I
would most want my kindergartener’s parents to know BEFORE their
students enter my classroom. I decided there are a few things for which
I would love parents to prepare both themselves and their little ones.
So here goes….. Lessons I would love to give first time kindergarten parents:

 

First-
We teach because we love children. We want your children to do their
very best. Kindergarten is the foundation on which your child will
build a lifetime of education, so when we tell you that your child
needs to do this or that, it is generally because we love them-- just
as you punish them and discipline them because you love them, we do the
same. So please don’t ever think that a kindergarten teacher has “it
in” for your child….your child becomes ours too and that is why we do
what we do!

Having
said that, I would love to give you some practical things to think
about as you get your little one ready to begin their educational
journey:

1. Overalls
are so cute on young children but have you ever tried to buckle fifteen
pairs after a bathroom break and still make it to the lunchroom on
time? Please save those for the weekend. Your child’s teacher will
really appreciate it.

2. Either
teach your child to tie shoes or buy buckles, Velcro or slip-ons.
Double knots do not last all day and shoes generally come off at nap
time. This is also a time that your child’s teacher will thank you when
she is not tying shoes allllll day!

3. Take
your little boys to a public restroom before school starts and make
sure that they know what a urinal is. Also, make sure that they know
that their pants should be pulled all the way up before they approach the restroom door.

4. Practice
makes perfect… practice opening chip bags, putting straws in drink
boxes, and opening pudding cups. Your student will feel so powerful at
lunch and snack.

5. Let
your child dress themselves. I know that you feel the need to help them
but they can learn how to put on their coat, sweater or jacket. I
promise. Again a powerful experience for them!

6. Flip
flops! Oh, flip flops! Another clothing item that is best left for the
weekend. Even if they can keep them on their feet while walking down
the hall in a line, flip flops become very distracting during large
group rug time when they easily slip off to become toys or weapons.

7. Your
child will be using scissors, pencils, glue, crayons, markers, and
paper. It will be beneficial if they have experienced these supplies
before entering the classroom. They will thank you for it later when
they can cut and color in a straight line.

8. Finally, READ, READ, READ! Read
to your child! Read with your child! Read in front of your child! Talk
to your child about what they read! Talk to your child about what you
read! You are your child’s first teacher! They will treasure what you
treasure. Make reading and learning one of those things!

I
will close just by saying that I absolutely love, love, love being a
kindergarten teacher. I have met very few kindergarten teachers who do
not feel the same. When your child walks into our kindergarten
classroom for the first time, they become someone else’s child too! For
all parents out there, I want to thank you for sharing your children
with us. To date, I have one biological child and 72 that I have
because God gave me the honor of being the one to help them begin their
educational journey. I look forward to each school year as much as my
incoming students. I look forward to adding 20 more to my family this
year and I hope that each of you will have a wonderful experience this
coming year!

Remember
that knowledge is the only thing that no one can take from you! If you
want to leave your children with a truly worthwhile gift…..give them
knowledge!

 

There are a couple of other items I remember Denise sharing with me through the year. So, I'm going to add those here:

1. If you have a little girl that wears dresses, put shorts under them.. Do I really need to explain further?

2.
The overalls, same thing applies to jewelry and hair barrettes. Try to
put things on your kids that will stay on them. It interrupts valuable
teaching time for the teacher to have to try to keep up with those
items.

3.
When your child gets in trouble, try to keep in mind that the teacher
is trying to train them for the future. And, it is very difficult for a
teacher to teach while someone is misbehaving. It is difficult for any
parent to hear that their child has done something wrong (I have a lot
of experience with this). I'm not saying that there is never a time to
stand in your child's defense but, for the most part, if you place
blame on the teacher, you're teaching your child to place blame also
instead of taking responsibility for their actions. Emma was one of the
few kids in her class that got a medal for "star behavior". I feel
strongly the reason for that was because she didn't have "star
behavior" in preschool and her teacher lovingly disciplined her. Not,
because she had it out for her but because she believed in her. I'm so
thankful that she saw some things about Emma that as parents, we were
too biased to see.

4.
Oh and an important one: When you send money to school for different
things, ice cream, lunch, bookfair, whatever. The teacher does not have
a cash register in her classroom nor the ability to make change. Either
have exact change or write a check for the exact amount. Put the money
for each individual purpose in individual envelopes with the purpose of
the money and any other information that your child's school requires
clearly stated on the envelope (name, class number etc).

I
know that there are other teachers and parents with experience in this
area that sometimes read here. If you have tips that can be added here,
please, please, share with us!

Blessings,

Dana

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