Tips from the Pros
In Child Magazine Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney and Canberra editions, St Catherine’s School Prep teacher, Miss Annie Taylor, shared these helpful examples of how parents have eased their children into school:
• “For the first few weeks of school, some parents like to leave a little teddy in the bag. Each time there is a break, the students know they can cuddle their teddy,” says Annie. “If the teddy is too big, some parents have opted for little teddy key rings. Key rings are much harder to lose and you do not forget them at home.”
• A few students in her class look forward to finding little letters in their lunch boxes, says Annie. “This provides a distraction and something concrete for them to look forward to. I love seeing the looks on the students’ faces when they receive a note. In the early stages of school, some parents choose to draw little cartoons or pictures to make their child giggle or tell a little story. As the year progresses some parents start to write little notes such as ‘Have a great day’ or ‘Don’t forget to tell me something exciting that happens today’. It is a lovely moment when the preps are able to read their own notes; they are so proud to read what their parents have written.” Some students start to write little notes back to their parents.
• One family Annie has taught sent their child to school with ‘mini missions’. Each morning they would tell their child what question they would like answered during the day, such as ‘At the end of the day could you please tell me something that you learnt today?’ or ‘At the end of the day I would like you to tell me the names of two preps who like the same colour as you’. “This not only helped create a dialogue when the student returned home each
night, but also helped the student to engage with others, as they had to ask them questions in order to answer theirs. The most pleasing part was that the parent always focused on positive stories to share.”
• When dropping their child off to school, one parent takes the time to quickly say ‘Quick hug, quick kiss; now remember, choose happy and have a great day’. “Their positive attitude to the farewell and the concise yet focussed manner in which they say goodbye, helps to create a positive start to the day.”