What are the behavioral expectations for the first day of school? How do these change throughout the year?
For many students the first day of Kindergarten is the first time they have been in a formal school setting. Your child’s Kindergarten teacher understands that children need lots of time to practice not only classroom rules but also the rules for all different areas of the school and that learning the rules takes time. It can be a shock for some kids to realize that all of a sudden they can’t just get up to go to the bathroom without permission or change activities when they feel like it. For this reason the first few weeks of school activities are centered predominantly around getting to know the rules, the teacher, other kids in the class and the school in general. Typically your child’s teacher will be more forgiving with most of the rules for the first couple of days. However, while Kindergarten teachers understand that your child will need time to practice things like raising their hand or walking in line, there are some rules that they will be expected to know from the beginning such as hitting other children is never okay.
Your child’s classroom should have some kind of behavior system set up that is easy for your child to understand. This will usually be explained on a Meet the Teacher Night either right before or right after the start of school. Some examples of classroom behavior systems include, time outs, colors to denote varying degrees of behavior or ticket reward systems. At the beginning you may worry because it may seem as if your child is breaking the rules frequently. Don’t worry as long as it’s few and far between and diminishes as the year goes on. Everybody makes mistakes and learns from them.
As the year progresses your child’s teacher will become tougher with the rules. Only one warning will be given before there is a consequence such as missing a few minutes of free center time or recess. Always feel free to contact your child’s teacher if your child breaks the rules at school. It is helpful to understand what happened from the teacher’s perspective so that you will know what if any consequences need to result at home.