TRANSITIONS AT THE BEGINNING OF THE SCHOOL YEAR
Since the first day of school teachers and other staff are focusing on creating, for every student, a successful transition into the new school year. Please remember that it is normal to experience some beginning year challenges, even though classrooms have been running smoothly after the first three weeks of school. Each Montessori level has a new set of higher expectations appropriate for the age group. Our teachers focus a great deal of time and effort both in building classroom community and in helping new-to-the-classroom students adjust to their new classroom responsibilities. Their primary goal will always be to assist students in learning the habits and self-discipline needed to reach their highest potential. At home parents can also assist in a child’s successful adjustment.
Some helpful thoughts:
- Facilitate your child’s learning to ask for help when needed. Accompany your child to talk to the teacher and encourage your child to communicate his/her problem or frustration. It never benefits your child’s developing self-confidence if you try to solve their challenges for them.In fact, it gives them the message that he/she is not capable of resolving the challenges.
- Support your child in learning that overcoming initial challenges through effort is the best way to experience success.It is this experience that establishes in children the habits that lead to success in life!
- Parent reactions to his/her child’s feelings about their new environment can help or hinder the student’s adjustment.It is not uncommon that when a child displays anxiety, often a parent is equally if not more anxious about the student going into a program. If you find yourself questioning whether your child is ready for the higher level of expectations that is part of their new classroom experience, then it is time to set up an appointment with your child’s teacher.
- Do know that regularly what a child finds challenging at the beginning of the school year seems easy by the end of the year.It is best if you include your child, except for our youngest students, in the talk with the teacher.
- As students are building a relationship of trust with the teacher, always convey confidence and optimism in the teacher as the child’s source of guidance.
The transition of students moving from one Montessori 3 or 4-year cycle to the next has its uniqueness. Students move from being the leaders in last year’s multi-aged class to the being the youngest in this year’s; from one who knew how everything worked to one who is learning a whole new set of procedures. This is a challenge, but, the students are capable and they are not alone. With the challenges that our students face each year, it is through parents, teachers and students working together that every child makes a successful adjustment to the next level.