Students head back to school next week, and that no doubt has parents thinking about what they need to do to get kids off to a good start.
So this week, we asked Midlands area teachers to share their wisdom to help parents do just that. Some of it is grade-specific, some more general.
Today, we're featuring Rosewood Elementary kindergarten teacher Melissa Rainsford: What wisdom would you offer parents as they watch their children march off to kindergarten for the first time?
Rainsford: First, I would definitely tell them (parents) to read, read, read.
Be positive, let kids know how much fun school is and share positive experiences.
Make sure they can tie their shoes and do buttons and snaps. Help them learn their ABCs and numbers. Remind them how to be a friend and share; social skills are important.
The biggest thing for parents to know is that their children are in good hands and to try their best not to stick around - let go.
We have more upset parents on the first day of school than we do children. Let them go on the adventure.
What do you say to young children on the first day that will encourage them to approach school with eagerness and return for a second day? Rainsford: For children, we start (acclimating them to kindergarten) before that child begins that first day of school.
In the spring we have "Meet Rosewood." We invite children to come and show them the classrooms. We take them on a tour of the school.
We make a frame with a picture that they can put on their refrigerator and we tell them every time they pass it, they say, "I can't wait to go to kindergarten." Then we send a summer letter mid-July with a little information about us and we send the children a little note, with a feather, telling them we are tickled to have them in our class.
On the first day of school, we have the room decorated with their names all over the place. I bend down and get on their level and give them a little sticker that tells them they are an official kindergartener.
I read books like "The Kissing Hand." We sing and tell stories.
The important thing I tell them as they leave is that there will be more of that the following day. I give them a little thumb kiss. I press their thumb against mine.
- Compiled by Carolyn Click