With school starting on MONDAY, I thought it might be fun to show you what happens behind the scenes in a Montessori classroom on the first day of school. This is how we go about welcoming brand new children (the 2.5 and 3 year olds.)
Brand new children usually start school a week after returning children. This gives the returning students time to readjust to the classroom and each other. They also spend the week anticipating the arrival of new children. It’s all very exciting!
When the day finally comes new children arrive one by one to the great excitement of the older children. We don’t want the first day of school to be overwhelming in the slightest so we only have new children only stay for an hour or so on their first few days.
When the new children arrive they will see the older children working. This sets the stage and shows them what to expect. The teacher welcomes them, shows them where to put their shoes and backpack, and shows them how to say hello and how to walk in the classroom. We want to equip them with the skills necessary to act as independently as possible. A child who does not know what the expectations are cannot be blamed for not living up to them!
The next hour the directress will stay near the child and make sure he is doing alright and not being too bombarded by excited older students.
When it is almost time to go we will have a group. We’ll sing a song or tell a story. Then get ready to go home. We take plenty of time getting ready to go. Going home will be calm and unhurried so the child can see exactly what goes in to packing up at the end of the day.
And that’s that!