So it has been a few weeks in most places since the little birdies started big school.
From what I have heard, some settled in well, like they have been doing it all their lives and others are taking a little longer to adjust.
Just remember, however long it takes IT. WILL. GET. BETTER.
It might not seem that way now, but I promise you, one day soon, you will realise that it has been a day without tears, a week without fears, a term of growth and your little person has found their way into the world.
So, with that in mind we recently sat down with an actual real-life kindergarten teacher (who we shall call Miss Mac) and discussed a bunch of stuff including ways to help settle your little one in, how to make nice with the other parents and how not to piss off your school.
1. Make life easier for your teacher
Your teacher will appreciate if you can bring in your own tissues and hand sanitiser. Some people may not realise, but teachers are often required to provide this from their own personal pocket. Just a box here and there will really be appreciated (and it takes VERY little effort to add another box to the trolley on grocery day!)
2. Size does matter
No big pencil cases! They simply take up too much space on the little birdy’s desk! Miss Mac says last year she had one student bring in three different pencil cases. One for pencils. One for crayons. One for textas! While she admires the anally retentive organisational side of that parent it is simply not practical for a 5 year old to manage!
3. Home/School balance
One big thing that people often don’t think about is to mention to your teacher is there is any changes in your homelife. These changes can affect your little ones more than you realise and having your teacher aware means that can help your little bambino adjust to any changes while at school.
Also if your little one is struggling to complete homework then make a time to discuss this with your teacher. If you don’t let them know they won’t know there is a problem! There is no point waiting until the end of term and then bitching about it!
4. Make a decent time to have a chat
If you have a concern/issue or just want to chat, have a talk to your teacher ASAP. Having said that, at 9.06am while the teacher is trying to wrangle 18 energy balls into a class room is not an ideal time to bring up your problems. Miss Mac says teachers are always happy to have a discussion with you, it is just important to schedule a time so both of you can participate fully without interruptions.
5. Competition is for wankers
There is no point comparing your kid’s abilities to that of Jack’s or Jill’s. Just be patient. Not all children are good at the same things at the same times. What Jack is good at Jill might not be. At the end of the day all children need support and competition is unnecessary. On the flip-side Yes, be proud of your little one but don’t be a douche bag show-off if your minion happens to be better at one area than someone else. Keep it real.
6. Have realistic expectations
Don’t expect your kindergartener will learn algebra and have formed an opinion on the current situation in North Chechnya by the end of term one. Your teacher is more than happy to let you know what curriculum they will use and what expectations you can have for your little birdy throughout the year. In extension of that, if your little one has a deep interest in something such as the human body, mention this to your teacher and they might use that as an inspiration for a lesson.
7. Home help
The more time you put in, the easier you make a teacher’s job. If you read to your child often before school then they are more likely to have already formed a good attention span and have a legitimate interest in reading. Every moment of time you give your child will be rewarded tenfold.
8. Be involved
Schools recognise that some parents work a shitload and probably unable to be involved in everything. If you are unable to run the canteen weekly or participate heavily in the P&F you can still be involved. Fundraising is always necessary and so are an extra couple of hands at fete time. The fete is likely to happen only once a year, so be organised and donate some supplies. Or volunteer at one school disco. Any sort of contribution makes a difference. Plus this is a great way to build a friendship with other parents in the school. You never know when it may come in handy to have a friend near by!
9. Buy some love
At the end of the year, you have survived. Your kid has survived. The teacher has survived. Here is a great list of gifts to say thanks to your kid’s teacher:
- Personalised stamps
- Personalised pens
- Personalised mugs
- Movie vouchers
- Chocolates (but keep in mind they get A tonne of chocolates!)
- Stuff to use in classroom.
Miss Mac says, meaningful gifts don’t have to be expensive, just a card that shows the parent’s appreciation for all you have done is lovely. It is always nice to know you are valued!
Happy school days Nesters x