First Days for Everyone
By Teacher Rachel (SPS Director)
The first days of preschool are so different for everyone involved! As a teacher I have gone through stages. My first few years of first days were much different than they are now. I was nervous to meet new parents and students. I was anxious about how the day would go. I was always worried that my carefully planned activities and schedule would end like a marshmallow in the microwave! I know now that the day never goes as planned and that is a wonderful thing.
Over the years, I have had so many different kinds of first days. I have come to understand that no matter how much I worry, or plan, the day will go just as it should and end up being absolutely perfect. It will be filled with new friends, excitement, laughter, tears, mishaps and many changes in plans. I have grown to be excited for the first day and look forward to it all summer long!
Each year brings new faces and new personalities. This has allowed me the opportunity to realize that while people are all different, we really just want the same thing; to be comfortable and to belong. Parents want their children to separate easily, meet tons of new friends and have the best day ever. Students want their parents to be their teachers and they want preschool to be just like home.
I cannot promise that your child will separate easily, or that each student will have their Mom or Dad as their preschool teacher. However, I do spend weeks making sure that the classroom is a comfortable and inviting place to be and from the very first day, I make sure that each student knows that I and the other teachers are always here to listen, to help, to give a warm hug or to read a comforting story.
For some students, this is the first time they are left with someone that is not related to them. It might be the first time they are around a large group of their peers for an extended period of time or their first time having to use the bathroom without the encouraging words of their parents. Firsts can be hard and life is full of obstacles and new situations for children and even adults to navigate through. While we all want to make the experience of living easy, the things that are most valuable sometimes take time, struggle and lots and lots and lots of support.
As a parent myself, I understand how hard it is to drop your child off with someone you have only met a handful of times. It is especially hard when your child bursts into tears as you prepare to leave or starts to cry in the car even before you arrive at preschool. The agony only continues as they press their tiny tear covered face up against the window as you drive away. Even though it can be heart breaking, I assure you that when you are gone, their tears dry up and slowly but surely turn to smiles and laughter as they begin to acclimate to their new surroundings. Everyone needs time to learn and grow.