Hello dear Peacock Parents:
In today’s newsletter, I would like to revisit a very important topic we see here every day at Peacock. This one today focuses on our beloved toddlers.
Coming to school in the morning is an important event for toddlers. The way children feel about their transition into school in the morning influences their experiences throughout the day. Feeling safe and secure saying good-bye to a parent and joining the teacher and children in the classroom are two of the most important lessons of the day. When this transition goes well, there are significant benefits to the child, to the family, and to teachers. Making the most of this important time leads to a successful day for everyone.
Many of our toddlers have been at Peacock for some time now, some even as infants. It is of course easier to leave a parent when the environment and the caretakers are familiar. And since Peacock is like a home away from home, most of our toddlers feel completely at ease when the time has arrived to leave their parent or caregiver. But a new toddler to Peacock, or a toddler on a Monday morning, or a toddler after a vacation, or a toddler who is just tired or getting sick, or getting over being sick or any of a number of combinations–can sometimes have a hard time leaving you, and you may have a hard times leaving your baby when you need to get to work on time.
What to do? It’s so hard to see your baby crying and upset. First of all, know in your mind that they will be OK. Separations in and of themselves can be heart wrenching for you and for your child. But as the adult, you know in your mind that your child will be OK, and so will you. It’s hard to remember this, but it is important that you do. And of course it is important that your child gets that message from you, as well as from their caregivers.
So, what can make this process easier?
Morning drop-off is the time to strengthen the framework of caring with families. A positive transition builds trust between families and teachers, and helps children feel secure (Brazelton & Sparrow 2006). Teachers can help parents develop a special drop-off routine that works for them. Some might want to join their child for a few minutes to support positive engagement. Playing with a puzzle together before blowing a kiss, giving a secret sign, or whispering in the child’s ear makes the leaving time easier for parent and child. When families see their child happy and involved in activities, they leave with a sense of confidence.
Talk to the teachers. They are truly quite amazing, all of them, and caring and responsive. We have one of the best toddler /waddler teams I have ever worked with or observed in all my teaching and supervising years. They are all, every one of them, attentive and loving and they only want the best for your child. So, please do ask them anything, and observe how they attend to not just your child, but all of the children. What else can make it easier? Spend some time in the classroom, if you can. Not too much time, as this can sometimes make separations more difficult for your child. But just enough to observe how your child eases into her/his new classroom. What do they play with? What kind of routines are present in their day? How does the teacher comfort a child who is having a troublesome time? How does the teacher foster love and joy in the classroom? The latter I focus on, as this is vital to every classroom environment. It allows the child to feel held and special and happy, in a purely genuine way.
It is amazing how being in a joyful and loving environment can take away a huge amount of stress, when the latter is surrounding us. This is true for adults, as well as for children. Something to ponder when some stressful event or phenomenon is present in our daily lives…
So, before I talk a bit about what has been going on in our classrooms, I would like to tell you that I will be away on a sabbatical the entire month of March. I have been offered the exciting position to consult, observe, and teach in an early childhood classroom ( a “nursery”) in a lovely school in the north of England.
While I am gone, Laurie Libby, our fabulous green room teacher, who has been away for a short while on family medical leave, will return and take on the Program Supervisor role in my absence. With her broad range of experiences in the world of Early Childhood Education, and her lovely maturity and calm, she will, no doubt, carry out the responsibilities of the Program Supervisor with finesse and with expertise. Beginning the middle of next week, she can be reached at her Peacock email address which will be: firstname.lastname@example.org. In my absence, there will be no weekly newsletters, so refer to your tadpoles reports for the important goings on in your child’s classroom.
So, speaking of which, what has been happening at Peacock this past week?
In our Infant Room our once tiny infants are overjoyed with their major accomplishments in the world of lifting up ones torso, kicking the feet, and of course, even sitting up. The joy on a baby’s face when he/she has accomplished something quite huge in their lives, is the joy that can take away any stress you might happen to have…
In our Toddler Room, the children have been learning the limbo dance, and they have loved this immensely! They have had fun building with colored building blocks, play dough, and outside, in the sand box. They made stain glass art projects with tissue and glue, and they had a wonderful time using the glue as a sensory medium which they explored on many levels.
In our Green Room the children have been studying plants and nutrition. They have been learning about the plants we eat, and the plants we meet, and they made a big chart with these elements, showing how plants grow, and which part of the plant we eat and which part we do not. They have learned which foods are healthy and provide stamina, and which foods are not healthy for our bodies. They have learned about foods that we put in the fridge, and foods that remain on shelves, and what happens to foods when they go bad. They observed an orange that had become rotten, and they compared that to a fresh orange. They studied farm animals and eggs that came from chickens, fresh, with still the poop on it, and they talked about the process of a chicken laying an egg, and how important it is to wash that egg before using it. The letter of the week was F for farm. In addition, the big hungry caterpillar was introduced from the book, and a math, and an art project became part of this discovery of the caterpillar and the foods it ate in the story to become big and strong, and later, became a butterfly.
In our Blue Room, the Rainbow Fish Story was highlighted, and the children made their own beautiful versions of the rainbow fish. The theme of friendship and caring continued from last week, as exemplified by this story. In addition, the children made friendship trees that are now in the hallway. In the trees, the X is for a kiss, the Heart is for love, the O is for friendship, and the Hand is for a helping hand. Outside, the children played friendship games where they had to hold hands and pat each others head and run and hop and walk like frogs together. In the classroom, children made friendship art together, and made a giant friendship tree with everyone’s hand prints.
So, on that loving and caring note, have lovely weekends one and all !
with kindest and warmest regards,