Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Ways to Connect with Parents
I thought I would share with you some of the ways we connect with our families at the Nest. (the Nest is what we affectionately call our toddler classroom)
The first picture is of the coat hooks, conveniently located under the parent board :) The parent board has the snack calendar posted on it as well as the school calendar for quick referencing and other postings that change frequently (to attract attention). Some examples of additional postings:
the local library's children room upcoming events
parent education opportunities
Just across the way (diagonally) from the coat hooks are benches for the children to sit on while taking on and off their shoes/slippers or to wait for other children to be finished getting ready to go outdoors. Above these benches is the dry erase board where I write daily messages for parents, both at the start of the day and the end of the day.
Morning Messages like:
"Welcome All! Today is So & So's 2nd Birthday" or "Have you signed up for your Parent Teacher conference?"
[you get the idea]
Afternoon Messages like:
"Today in the Nest we...."
Then I list out who brought snack and what it was, songs we sung, books we read, and the activities we enjoyed.
Parents have said this helps them reconnect with their children and it's helpful for me when writing in the children's journals each day. Young children can have difficulty communicating what they did during the time they spent apart from their families; providing parents with even a little info (for ex: "snack was water melon slices and pretzels") gives them a conversation starter.
When you haven't seen your little one, reconnecting and sharing about the time apart is special and important. It is our job as caregivers to help families with this process.
Having recently started back to work after summer break, I feel so grateful to my little one's primary room teachers for the the information they share with me about his day. At 3 years old he is only able to tell me about the last 10 minutes of his day. He lives in the moment; and that's all he cares about. I want to know what materials he used, who he played with, if he napped or liked the lunch I packed him? When my son's teachers share with me a funny story from his day, it's like I won the lottery!
I hope you are all having a wonderful school year so far.
Enjoy your kiddos,