Friday Two Cents: First day of Kindergarten


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  In the end of April I was hired on as an Early Childhood Educator (ECE) supply teacher for the Toronto School board and I was lucky enough to work in a few schools with great teachers.  For the start of this school year I thought I would not get called in to supply until October or November but I got a call the night before school started on Tuesday.  I was at a new school for the first day of school and let me tell you what an experience. 

  Like I said I went into a new kindergarten class for the first day of school and for many of them this was the first time ever going to school.  I have to admit I was a little nervous too.  Not just because of being called into a new school for the first day, but because I wanted to make this first day special for the children.  

  Many of the junior kindergartens are 3-year-old and there were a few tears.  But after a few minutes they were alright and started fitting into the routine.  They were a little unsure at times after but you can see the excitement in their faces about experiencing something new.  It was amazing for me to see and experience. 

  You know, you never realize how strong children truly are until you see it first hand.  Mind you the teacher was great too.  She was and is very patient with then and made them feel welcome and at ease.  They both inspired me and I made it a point to bring in my puppets, sing a few songs with them and read them a couple of helpful stories to help them feel comfortable and welcome.  

  The real tragedy is that many people will never see what happens in a kindergarten class.  Many would say that it is organized baby-sitting and that the children are not really learning anything.  Something as important as printing your name is easy and any one can do it.  In reality it takes practice and hard work to hold a pencil and create the letters to the point where you feel comfortable enough to do it blindfolded. 

  The truth is that the children started a journey on a life long adventure of learning and exploration. They began by learning to print their name and to express themselves by drawing what they did this week.  To think for themselves. 

  Lao Tzu said,A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”  The children took their first steps this week. Small steps made by courageous little people.  I just hope I helped in some way to make their first days in kindergarten special, inspirational and one to remember. 

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