Handling a single preschooler or kindergartener is tough. Let alone handling a dozen of them. That’s exactly what your child’s teacher does! Just imagine the kind of patience it would require to not only handle but also educate a bunch of baboons who may even lack toilet training. That’s sounds a lot of hard work. That makes her worthy of lot of respect. So when my son’s teacher tells me something, I listen to it with all my heart and concentration. And so should every parent. But the sad reality is parents are hearing less and talking more. Here is a list of what the preschool and kindergarten teacher wants you to know:
1. Your child is smarter than you think: Irrespective of the literacy and math skills your child has, she/he has immense capacity to learn. If you put your faith in your child, your child will surely blossom. Children often see themselves from their parent’s eyes. So do not stress over what your child does not know yet but celebrate what she/he knows and can do.
2. Academic do not matter, yet: Different children enter preschool and kindergarten at different ages. So stop fretting if your child does not her sounds yet. That’s what kindergarten is for! Help them at home to reinforce what they have learned but don’t make it too serious.
3. Focus on their social skills: Allow them to play with peers without your interference. Give them the opportunity to sort their quarrels themselves. This teaches them important skills and consequences of their own actions. If your child has difficulty with another child in the class encourage him/her to sort it himself/herself while keeping the teacher secretly in the loop. This would boost their confidence in their abilities and teach them important social skills.
4. Encourage them to be independent: Mom knows the best and yet not, sometimes! You think they still do not know how to eat by themselves, pee by themselves, zip themselves and many other small things which you do for them every single day. But they do! Imagine the plight of the teacher if they did not. Her entire day would go just doing these things for her class. So stop and encourage them to do things by themselves.
5. Young children do not lie but they do not tell the truth either: Their perception of truth is way different than adults. Many a times I have witnessed a child claiming to be shouted at while the teacher was just assertive and firm. Likewise if teachers believed all the stories their students told them about their home, you would be seriously embarrassed.
6. Let your child play: Children learn many things from playing. Unstructured free play strengthen critical thinking and logical skills. Free play is also great for their motor skills which are still developing. Instead of giving them alphabets to write, give them a paintbrush to strengthen their pencil grip.
7. You are their first teacher: Parents are a child’s first teacher. They are constantly watching your actions. So rather than telling or preaching them what to do, model the behavior.
8. Keep us in the loop: If your child is facing some issues at home, experiencing changing patterns or has recently lost a dear pet, let us know. These things might be minor for us but can have larger effect on children.
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