My son had his first sleepover this weekend. He was so excited to spend the night at his cousins. I was too; except for the fact, that I kept thinking, my baby is not here with me. He's three. As a mother, it's hard to let go. As a teacher, I know it's in the best interest for the child to smile and say good bye.
Here's how my school helped families and children begin the school year.
Our kindergarten team had a parent orientation for the first hour of the school day. As a team, we presented a power point presentation of key items we wanted parents to know-school hours, snack policy, dress code, etc. Then, we read The Kissing Hand by Audrey Wood. The story is about Chester, a raccoon, and his fears about the first day of school. His mother provides him with a touching solution, called the Kissing Hand. We thought that parents would enjoy this heartfelt, beautifully written story about first day jitters. As we read, we could see that some parents were really moved by the story and seemed to be holding onto their child just a little tighter than before. As the story concluded, we had parents give their child a kiss on the hand to say good bye. Although, there were still some tears, this story helped parents understand that it would be okay. Their baby would be safe.
If you are looking for something to help ease separation anxiety, perhaps, you'll try this idea.
Happy teaching and learning!