Monday, October 5, 2009

teacher's tips to helping the new kid in class

"Come to the edge, He said.
They said: We are afraid.
Come to the edge, He said.
They came. He pushed them,
And they flew . . ."
-Guillaume Apollinaire-French poet


Okay…no one likes to see a child cry. I breaks my heart, I never just get ‘used to it’. But I do understand separation anxiety and have been through the process enough to know the outcome of consistency, love and understanding. Children and have different temperaments, comfort levels and paces at which they learn and grow. It would be silly to expect all preschool children to be pleased as punch; happily starting a new preschool without a fuss. Starting a whole now routine is a very big deal for a child; for some, it would be the equivalence of an adult waking up one morning and starting a whole new job without interviewing for the position-you are just expected to learn as you go. When I had new children we make sure they were shown a proper welcome. This is a list of what we did as a class.

Teachers Tips to Helping the New Kid In Class:
*The children made a welcome banner with the child’s name
*We had the cubby ready and a signed card
*As a class we showed him/her all the areas of the room including the bathroom
*We played name games and “get to know you games” over and over again
*The teachers make sure we find out what the child likes and dislikes-We want him/her to be comfortable!

The resilience of children amazes me. As a child I loved daycare. I loved kindergarten, too. I remember the teachers I liked and the ones I didn’t. It was the same through high school and college. I looked for the teachers that encouraged me and gave me a small push-just like the poem. Perhaps, that’s why in my dreams I can always fly.

4 comments:

Dan Gurney said...

I like the way you give thoughtful consideration to how a child new to your class would feel. The resilience of children is amazing, but as adults we can do many things to ease the transition to a new setting so their resilience isn't put fully to the test. Kudos for this post.

Barbra Stephens said...

You make an exellent point, Mr. Gurney. It is often we as adults that tend to make much more out of a situation that the child. Children look to us-as far as how to behave. If the adult if fearful or uncertain-the child will believe that is how he must be. We as teachers must extend ourselves to the parents as well as the children- at times they needs reassurance & support, too.

answerstartswithyou said...

As mom to an anxious kid, this is so important! Nice to know the extent to which some take to encourage and motivate new students. Thanks.

Daisy

Barbra Stephens said...

Some schools will make a policy of welcoming in new children and parents. I treat the classroom environment as an extention of the home-in a sense. I would want a guest in my home to feel welcome and teach my children how to welcome others...a feeling of being welcome makes someone receptive to learn new things...that's always a good thing. Thanks Daisy!