What does the first day of Kindergarten look like?
Rest assured that teachers, no matter how many years they’ve taught, are just as nervous about the first day as you and your child are. Your child’s teacher will try to have the first day will run as close to normal as possible but a completely typical day will be impossible. The first day and actually the first few weeks of school are spent teaching kids routines, setting behavioral expectations and getting to know each other. That doesn’t mean learning isn’t going on, actually it’s quite the contrary. Here’s a list of things Kindergarten teachers work on the first few weeks of school. Remember most children won’t have been in any public school setting before and some not in any type of school setting.
- Walking in a line
- Being quiet in the hallways
- Sitting quietly during a story
- Raising their hand when they need something
- Staying in their seat unless they ask for permission
- Public bathroom etiquette
- Drinking from a water fountain
- Eating in the lunchroom
- Lining up when recess time is over
- The difference between a question and a story (they work on this one all year)
- Voicing displeasure vs. hitting when there is a problem
- Using scissors for paper only
- Holding a pencil
- Writing their name on all work
- Hanging up their backpack and checking it for any notes, items from home, etc
- Not to interrupt when others are speaking
- Sharing toys
- Saying please and thank you
- Saying the pledge of allegiance
Generally the teacher will have some type of activity for kids to work on when they come in the first day, most likely some type of activity or coloring sheet. This allows her to have an activity that doesn’t need directions so that she can speak with any parents and settle everyone before the day starts. After everyone is seated and parents have left, the rest of the day is spent touring the school, practicing lining up/walking in the hallway, learning classroom and school rules and simply getting down the routine of being in school. Usually students will still attend specials (P.E., art, music) but not other enrichment like library or computer lab. The day goes extremely quickly! Your child will be very tired when they come home and probably by Wednesday or so they won’t be so sure about getting up early every morning. Give it time and before you know it your child will love school (even if they are still a little sleepy in the morning)!