Tools for the transition into a new classroom
If you’re a parent of a young child, you’re no doubt familiar with the anxious feeling that comes when your child goes to move up a room as they age. In the first few days of a new classroom, parents can be particularly nervous, but we’re here to help you walk into that first day with confidence! For many parents, it can be hard to know what they should do when their child is moving up a room, especially if they are having trouble adjusting. If you’re feeling stressed about the transition and aren’t sure how to help your family adjust, this guide is for you!
Be excited for your child and the new changes!
As a parent, it can be hard not to get emotional when your child is moving up a room. You want them to have fun and enjoy new experiences, but it can be difficult to let go of the past and focus on the future. However, if you display signs of sadness, anxiety or apprehension about the changes around your child, they are likely to mirror those emotions.
Lean on the support of the management team and families in your child’s class that are about to move up too. This is a great time to meet new families and form relationships that will help you through the transition. If your child needs extra support when it comes to change, that is what your management team is there to help you with. Organise a time to meet with them ahead of the changes to discuss a plan and a strategy, so you can feel comfortable that they understand how your child processes change and how they can best support you through it.
Your child already knows the centre!
If your child is moving rooms in the same centre, the good news is, it is the same centre! This means they will have familiar faces around them (children moving up with them and educators they have seen before), and they will still have similar routines. It is possible that you might need to help your child adjust to their new classroom routine by chatting about their day, but do not worry: they will adapt quickly since they know the center well and are familiar with other children. This is a good time to chat with the centre about what your child is interested in and how they can cater to that interest. Talk to them about the types of activities they enjoy doing, what their friends’ interests are, and how they can help facilitate collaborative play.
Children tend to adapt quickly because they’re used to changing situations — they move homes, make new friends at the park every time and deal with changes in family members during their lives. Children are also very resilient and cope with many challenges without being negatively affected by them long-term. So don’t worry too much about how well your child might handle moving into a new classroom; just focus on giving them lots of positive support, so they know that no matter what happens next year or ten years from now—they will always love their parents (and vice versa).
Your educators want to help!
Your child’s educators are there to help your child feel safe, loved and comfortable in their new room. If you have a chance to meet with the teacher before school starts, this is a great opportunity to ask questions and get to know each other better. If your child has additional needs or is struggling with certain skills, it’s important for teachers to know about them so they can provide extra support and help your child feel comfortable in their new classroom. Most educators will give you a term goal sheet, and it is very important that you fill this out so your educators know what you would like them to focus on for the term.
To help your child feel more comfortable around their new educators, ask your centre for photos of the new team to place on the fridge at home, at your child’s eye level. Chat with them about who their educators are, use their names and talk about something they like that your child might then remember later. The more your child is at ease with their educators, the more comfortable they will be when they enter their new room each day.
The changing routine helps them flourish!
Each age group’s rhythm and routine of the day will differ, with some classrooms having a morning circle and others starting with outdoor play. Children are often very familiar with their previous routines, but their educators are there to help guide them through any changes in their day. The change in routine might be extra play time and less nap time, perhaps rinsing their own dishes instead of it being done for them or even more academic-based activities, but all of these changes are made with the child’s best interests at heart. The most important thing to remember is that your child will still be loved and cared for as much as ever, even if their day has changed slightly.
We hope these tips will help you and your child to adjust to their new classroom. Your child is probably handling this transition better than you think, so try to relax and be patient with yourself. The best thing you can do for your child is to be supportive, so it’s important to remember that they’re not in this alone! As always, we’re here to help. If you have any questions about what your child’s first day of school will look like, or how best to support them through this transition, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your Eden Team!