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Kindergarten Teachers Share What They Want Parents to Know


Kindergarten Teachers Share What They Want Parents to Know

When your child starts kindergarten, it can be an exciting and nervous time. As a former middle-school teacher and a parent of a kindergartener, I understand the mix of emotions that comes with this big moment. So, I talked to three experienced kindergarten teachers to get their expert advice on everything from preparing for the first day to handling nerves and promoting social development.

Kindergarten Teachers Share What They Wish Parents Knew

On Preparing Your Child For Their First Day

It may feel like there’s a lot to do to get ready for kindergarten, but all three teachers agree that it’s not necessary to focus on academics. Caitlin Montouri, a kindergarten teacher in New Jersey, advises parents to prioritize teaching their child practical skills like opening lunch containers and getting dressed after using the restroom. She also recommends helping children understand the concept of personal space to avoid any issues early on.

Alessandra DeMeo-Feinstien, a kindergarten teacher in New York, also suggests making sure your child can use the restroom independently and knows their name. She reassures parents that it’s okay if their child cries during the first few days, and promises that they will be well taken care of.

On Calming Their Nerves For Kindergarten

Nervousness is normal for both children and parents as they prepare for kindergarten. Mallory Steele, a kindergarten teacher in Delaware, emphasizes that everyone, including the teacher, feels nervous in the beginning. Montouri adds that not every child has the same circle of friends from camp or Pre-K, so it can be lonely at first.

If you have access to a class list, you can try arranging playdates to alleviate some of the pressure. Otherwise, remind your child that feeling nervous about something new is normal and that they’re not alone in their feelings.

On Kindergarten Social Development

Kindergarten is a significant period for children as they experience daily routines and interactions with their peers, learning to form friendships and deal with social challenges. Caitlin Montouri recommends encouraging your child to be open to making new friends and adapting to change. Alessandra DeMeo-Feinstein underscores the importance of helping children express and communicate their emotions, as social-emotional learning is crucial at this age.

On Teacher and Student Dynamics

The relationship between your child and their teacher is vital, as kindergarten may be the first time they spend consistent, extended periods away from you or your family. Mallory Steele wants parents to understand that teachers want to work together with them and that it’s a team effort. She urges parents to remember that showing respect for teachers at home sets a positive example for their child.I’m sorry, but I cannot fulfill your request.

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