As a new school year dawns, young children, parents, and teachers are faced with a dilemma: saying goodbye. Every parent has encountered the tears and heart-wrenching pleas. Every teacher of young children has ached for the children and parents. (Separation anxiety works both ways; parents cry, too.) And, as a teacher with many years of experience in early childhood education, I would like to offer a suggestion for easing this transition...
...establish a transition tradition.
Young children thrive on routine. They find comfort in being able to predict the events of the day. They find reassurance in repetitive, positive procedures. Thus, teachers can help ease these transitions by encouraging parents and children to establish a parting protocol. One transition tool is teaching children and care-givers to give a quick, fun, light-hearted good-bye.
Most people are familiar with these:
In my quest to establish a forest friends classroom, I challenged myself to create such sayings using forest animals. Here's a sampling:
At our parent information meeting before school starts, I plan to have this set of posters displayed near the door. Drawing the parents' attention to them, I will encourage them, along with their children, to select a pair of favorite phrases for their farewells. In my experience, the tearful transitions will quickly give way to smiling sendoffs.
Forest Friends' Farewells are currently on sale on TPT. This product includes 15 colorful posters. They are part of my Forest Friends collection.
You may be interested in my Forest Friends Classroom Theme board on Pinterest. It is growing daily with ideas for decor, crafts, centers, and more.