This year I have a few brand new students. I have a few three year-olds and one two and a half year old coming to school for the very first time. During my AMI training my instructors always emphasized the importance of the first day for a few reasons:
1. As a teacher I set the stage for the entire year on that one day. If I’m panicked or scattered they will take it all in and I’ll spend the rest of the year making up for my bad first impression.
2. This is such a special day in somebody’s life. Stories about this day will be shared with grandparents and aunts and uncles and hundreds of pictures will be taken. It’s easy as a teacher to not realize how special this day is. We go to school every day. There isn’t a single day that I’m not thinking about school. But for these very young children, this could be the most important day of their lives so far.
3. Not only is the first day of school a huge deal for the child, it might actually be an even bigger deal for his parents. For the first time, many new preschoolers are leaving everything familiar behind and entering the great unknown. Some parents can be hysterical, others can keep it together until the door closes behind their child, and for some the first day isn’t such a big deal (at least that’s what they keep telling themselves.)
I always remind myself that these grown-ups are trusting me with the most precious thing in their lives. It’s an honor to take the reins for a few hours a day.
Are any of you getting ready for the first day of school? How did your children’s first days go? How did your child’s teacher — or if you’re a teacher,– how do you you prepare?