Poppy's First day of Montessori
I don't think these photos need much explaining... but I'll explain anyways:) Miss Poppy was VERY excited about going to 'kool', as she pronounces it. All summer long we would walk or drive past the building, and she would excitedly call out 'that's my new KOOL!' When her first day arrived, she was very excited right up until it was time to say good-bye. While Soren's kindergarten did a multi-stepped staggered entry, Poppy had a full day on her first day. She'd never met the teachers before, and had only seen the classroom once before, late last winter.
In Montessori (or at least this one) the teachers encourage quick drop-offs, with the parent setting the tone by being confident about the good-bye. Kids pick up on nervousness very easily, so if they feel like the parent is confident about where they are going (not a crying mess) it will make their transition easier. I helped Poppy wash her hands and we talked with a teacher, and then I said good-bye. I was perhaps not as confident as I could have been... as we walked away and I heard her crying, I tried to turn around but was stopped by Tyler who re-assured me that she would be fine. Once I got to work I couldn't resist calling the school to see how she was - it was her first day after all, and she's only two! Luckily things were going well, and when we picked her up at the end of the day she was very happy.
Most mornings there are still a few tears, but they are pretty short-lived. She talks happily about school and we catch her singing songs she's already picked up. This week we had a parents night at the school, and we were so blown away by how much the staff love the children. You get the feeling that the teachers are all working because they truly love it - it's definitely not about the paycheque. After experiencing a few less than ideal childcare situations - for a variety of reasons - it's a great feeling to know that we made the right decision with Poppy's schooling this year. I really think she is going to thrive in her new environment, and three days per week seems like the perfect amount of time to be in school.
My advice to other parents is always to trust your instincts... there are options, and you know best. If something doesn't feel right there is probably a reason for it, and try to find something better suited. Now if only we could ease Soren's separation anxiety... I want to thank all the people who sent emails or texts with thoughtful suggestions to help us ease our kindergarten woes. I think (fingers crossed) that we moving forward... but I don't want to "speak" too soon. A follow up will come in due time:)