For most children, the first day of school is often equal parts anxiety and excitement, while adults want total excitement without the anxiety. But how can it be?
Without a doubt, there will be great excitement! This is a day that has been talked about for weeks, even months. The school is full of different toys, exciting outdoor spaces, and eager faces. The possibilities to make new friends is endless. But with new experiences also comes uncertainty.
Imagine being three or four (or five, as we witnessed our graduates contemplating the wide world of kindergarten) and being dropped off at a place we have only visited once or twice in the long-ago spring or summer. The people who love us best wave goodbye as they head off to work, or worse – home with a younger sibling and not us! At the same time, parents are feeling their own anxiety as goodbyes are being said. Without a doubt, there will be some anxiety.
In truth, every parent and every child is different. Some parents need reassurance for some time, from teachers and from their own child. While some children might leap right in, even approaching a likely playmate with, “Hi, wanna play with me?” others prefer to paint at the corner easel for the first half hour while they get their bearings.
At All Seasons, as with any good early childhood setting, we greet each child at the door. Each child has his/her own temperament, own family, own identity and own culture. For the hours of school, we come together to form a cooperative community, but we try never to lose sight of each child’s particular gifts and needs.
Upstairs, we have the perfect helpers in this area – the grandmas and grandpas of Inver Glen. Their delight and patience with the children help us all to remember the words of that wise and gentle teacher, Mr. Rogers– “I like you just the way you are.”