The big day has arrived. You have put your child’s new outfit on and combed her hair (and yours), The time has arrived to meet your child’s first “big school” teacher. Follow these tips for kindergarten parents to make the most of your and your child’s first assignment–a good start.
For your child, starting kindergarten offers both excitement and stress. You may find this a challenging time. Renee Griffin, Kindergarten Teacher at W.D. Williams Elementary School, and I offer the following tips for you and your child to make an A+ on this assignment.
5 Starting Tips for Kindergarten Parents
- Start by setting up a school routine, including bedtime and wake-up time, as early as two to three weeks prior to the start of school. This allows for a more positive transition.
- Take your time at the official “Meet the Teacher.” Fill out all the forms and pick up any additional supply lists.
- Be upbeat and positive. Keep your child’s school experience positive (even if yours was not so glorious).
- Always remember that your child’s teacher wants each child to be successful just as you do.
• If you want to share information about your child with the teacher, ask the teacher for the best way to be in contact. Kindergarten teachers cannot have extended conversations with you about your child a the Meet the Teacher session. However, most teachers will schedule a time to meet with you any time during the school year to address your concerns.
• Sign up to volunteer. Often teachers have sign-up sheets for things such as reading buddy or cutting out laminated papers at home.
• Exploring the exciting possibilities in the classroom. Investigate the various learning centers and notice what sparks your child’s interests. You can use these details to motivate your child on difficult mornings.
3 Year-long Tips for Kindergarten Parents
- Keep reading aloud to your child everyday-even when the busy school schedule starts. Reach Out and Read, a national literacy organization, points out that reading aloud gives children the opportunity to practice listening – a crucial skill for kindergarten and beyond. Read more.
• Mrs. Griffin warns, don’t believe everything your child says happens at school, as situations may not be completely understood. Don’t overreact, but do contact the school if something your child says concerns you.
• Last, keep in mind that you may feel a bit threatened as your child looks to someone else as a teacher. Resist feeling offended when your child says, “But my teacher says…” Your role as your child’s first teacher remains the strong.
I tell parents that success in kindergarten is like a three-legged stool—teacher, parent, and child. And if one of those legs is missing—it’s a problem.
-Renee Griffin, kindergarten teacher for 25 years