We’ve all experienced this moment as parents and guardians. We ask, with great curiousity, at the end of each school day, “How was your day at school today?” And often the only response we receive is “Okay.” Children might not know what to share, or even remember some of the exciting things that happened over the course of the day. Here are some questions to help get kids talking – and saying more than just “Okay.”
- What games did you play at recess?
- What was the funniest thing that happened today?
- Did anyone do anything super nice for you?
- What was the nicest thing you did for someone else?
- Who made you smile today?
- What new fact did you learn today?
- Who brought the best food in their lunch today? What was it?
- What challenged you today?
- If school were a ride at the fair, which ride would it be? Why?
- What would you rate your day on a scale of 1 to 10? Why?
- If one of your classmates could be the teacher for the day who would you want it to be? Why?
- If you had the chance to be the teacher tomorrow, what would you teach the class?
- Did anyone push your buttons today?
- Who do you want to make friends with but haven’t yet? Why not?
- What is your teacher’s most important rule? Why?
- Does your teacher remind you of anyone else you know? How?
- Tell me something you learned about a friend today.
- What is one thing you did today that was helpful?
- When did you feel most proud of yourself today?
- What rule was the hardest to follow today?
- What is one thing you hope to learn before the school year is over?
- Which person in your class is your exact opposite?
- Which area of your school is the most fun? Why?
- Which playground skill do you plan to master this year?
Welcome back to our returning students and families, and a very warm welcome to students joining us at Watson this year! We hope that you’ve all had time to rest, relax and make memories with friends and family.
Supporting the Transition Back to School
We also understand that for some children, this is a time when they may be feeling a range of emotions including nervousness. Please know that nervousness is normal. As a parent or guardian you are not alone if your child is expressing apprehension about the start of the school year. Knowing they have you in their lives to help them with the transition will go a long way in the long run. If you are looking for some tips for transitioning your child back to school, you may find these helpful:
- Listen and acknowledge your child’s concerns. Just know that you don’t have to have all the answers. As parents and guardians, we can put a lot of pressure on ourselves when we see that our child isn’t happy. Sometimes, all a child needs is to know they can talk and that you will hear them.
- When a child expresses a concern we want to acknowledge it but we also want to try to support children in finding possible strategies to approach the problem. For example, if a child says “what if I can’t find my new classroom after lunch?”, we could ask them “that may happen, but who could you go to for help if it does?” At our school, we want children to feel they can go to any staff member and ask for help if needed. Supporting children in finding their voice in working through their concerns can help ease their minds while also empowering them.
- Routines go a long way. Now is a good time to establish bedtime routines, morning routines and begin talking about what a school day may look like.
- Visit the school yard and take a picture if you like. Talk to your child about the new school year.
- Practice goodbyes. For example, if grandma is looking after your child, let him/her visit and stay while you leave just like you would for work.
- Highlight the positives as much as you can.
- We often think children need lots of friends to feel safe and included. In fact, children often need just one good friend. If you can connect with someone in the community who also has a child attending our school this may help. Even if they are not in the same class, they will see each other in the school.
- We are fortunate to have so many amazing staff at Watson. Yes, your child’s homeroom teacher is their main point of contact. However, we have many examples of our staff supporting children they do not directly teach…it is a great team!
- If it helps, you can feel free to let them know that even Mrs. Crossley and Ms. Murray, the principal and vice-principal, are nervous too. 🙂 It is important for children to see that nervousness is a human emotion that we can all experience and that is OK to feel this.
Finally, if after a few days at school you find your child is still feeling anxious talk to us. Let your child’s teacher know so we can develop some strategies together. We’re here to help.
The good news is, we have many examples of children who were nervous on Day One but who settled in quickly.
Mrs. Crossley and Ms. Murray