Education - Back to School Readiness

Hello Blog Buddies!

It is that time of year in Australia where (Primary Teachers in particular) start to organise their classrooms and also spend ridiculous amounts of money on purchasing pretty stationery. 
Parents too, are buying school shoes and shopping with their children to find 
the 'perfect' lunchbox. 

As a classroom teacher, I have put together a few simple suggestions that will make both your young child's (and their teacher's) life a whole lot easier as they move into a new school year - especially if it it the very first year of school.

 Ready For School?

Number 1 - Please, please, please label everything!

Every year, in schools across our gorgeous nation, thousands of dollars worth of jackets, hats and lunch boxes sit in 'lost property' areas of our corridors. So pull out those 'sharpies' and get writing. If an item has two components such as a lunch container with a lid, please remember to label both parts.  

(Note: Please help teachers and write a complete name and not simply initials. Whilst teachers are truly magicians at deciphering writing, they have better things to do than to chase down every 'J.T.' in the school!)

Number 2 - Can they open and use their own bag, 
lunchbox and drink bottle?

This may seem a little trite but believe me, many children simply can not open their own lunch boxes when they come to school. If you multiply this by twenty, every day a teacher can be met with a sea of faces, requesting you help them access their lunch. Please encourage independence and make sure your child can help themselves before asking for assistance.

Number 3 - Can they go to the toilet themselves?

Again, this may seem like commonsense to you, but you would be surprised how often 
Junior School Teachers are told by parents that a teacher will have to 'accompany' their 
child to the toilet. 
In a classroom situation, this simply can not happen. A teacher can not legally leave twenty other children unattended in a room. Make sure your child can wipe their own bottom!

Number 4 - Can they blow and wipe their own nose?

Similar to item number three, in my experience, many children can not 'blow' their noses, but rather default to the 'sniff and wipe' approach. Not only does this sound revolting, but it is the fast track to spreading the cold around the room. Teachers should also not be expected to wipe your child's nose.

Number 5 - Are you more anxious than they are?

When you drop your child off to their new classroom, particularly for the first few days, make the good-byes heartfelt, but quick. Remind them you will be back to collect them at the end of the day and that you can't wait to hear all about the new things they have learnt about as well as all the new friends they have made. 

Please do not tell them you will miss them. I have experienced many children 'worrying' about 
"... How much mummy is missing me..."

 These are just a few simple ideas that really can help your child feel secure and independent so they can focus on learning while they are at school. 

So how did your child do? Do you think they are ready for school?



Read Me said...

Such a great list. I remember a suggestion that my eldest daughter's first teacher told us 'If you want it back, label it'!

Sarah-Jane said...

This is so true! Most people return items that accidentally find their way home to the wrong house....But so any things are simply not labelled!

Meg Long said...

Brilliant list, especially about lunch box. A small cut in a food bag or a loosening of tops of yogurt packets help too.

Sarah-Jane said...

Thanks Meg.... As a teacher, I would have to open, on average, ten yogurt packets a day!

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