My gorgeous first born has just started school in the UK, and is in Reception class. For those in Australia it is a mix between Kinder and Prep and it is 5 days a week for a full school day. This was terrifying for me at first.
In Australia the school year is January to December and given our son was born in March we had decided to delay his start in Kinder and hence school by a year. As such he wasn’t meant to start Kinder until 2018 and that’s only 15 hours a week. So to then be told he needs to start full time school in September 2017 I was very concerned.
My concerns came from the fact that we had decided to keep him back on the basis that he is quite little for his age and developmentally has always been at standard, but a little behind. Also, it is a big jump from going to childcare and a day with Nana once week to school 5 days. There may have also been a little bit of Mum selfishness in there because I didn’t want to feel rushed to share my firstborn with the world forever!
The First Day
The first day snuck up on me. I thought I had all this time and then bam; it was here. Thankfully the first week was only two days of about 2.5hours. My son was so excited he was going to school. He felt like a ‘big boy’ and he so badly wanted to make some friends. He had attended about 5 weeks of Kinder in Australia for preparation, but I knew this would be tougher than that.
He was a little bit hesitant to walk into his class but once he saw his room and the activities set up he was ready to go. I was brave and excited because he was excited. As we walked away I was a little bit sad to see my boy go, and all the normal nerves of ‘will he make friends?’, ‘will he have fun?’, ‘will he love it?
Rest assured he came home beaming and told us he had so much fun and couldn’t wait to go back. Phew!
So far so good. We’ve had a few tantrums and moments at home from the tiredness and getting into a new routine. Poor mite wet his bed during a few naps which isn’t like him which shows me how tired he was. But he will settle and we will make sure he’s getting the rest he needs.
Parent – Teacher Perspective
This is my first time being a parent at school rather than the teacher. It really opened up my eyes to the importance of the teacher. While I already knew this, as a parent it takes on another level. My son had met his teacher previously at transition day which made the first day easier for him. In the meantime, he practiced saying his teachers name and he told everyone her name when they asked him about school. This was so cute to see and I could see the importance of him feeling accepted by her and how this would determine how he enjoyed school.
I have had the privilege of working with fantastic caring and loving teachers, and a teachers role in a child’s ability to like school is huge. Especially in those early years when they really look to their teachers for guidance and support.
So to the teachers, your job is important, all you do doesn’t go unnoticed, you are valued, and you’re amazing.
Us parents are trusting our most precious cargo with you, so trust yourselves and do what you do best, teach!
And parents……trust that your child is in good hands, communicate with your child and school respectfully if you have any concerns, and the rest will take of itself 😊