The first day of preschool can be as exciting as it is challenging for a young child. While they may not be able to articulate it clearly, children likely have thoughts, concerns and questions such as:
“Why aren't my parents staying with me?”
“Who will I play with?”
“What if my teacher doesn’t like me?’
“Look at all the toys! I don't have these toys at my house.”
“Why do I have to sit on this spot and wait for my turn. I don’t want to share these blocks!”
Not only does this new environment have an overwhelming amount of sensory stimulation but it also brings up the valuable concept that a child has "two different worlds." Ed Sheeran and the Sesame Street characters explain the differences between a child’s home and school world in their video “Two Different Worlds.” In a child’s home environment their belongings are theirs, they can move freely from room to room at their own leisure, and get all the attention their parents can provide.
As the lyrics state, “At home I can sit here and there, in the couch, my bed, or easy chair” and “speak whenever I please, I can talk real loud and shoot the breeze.” However, at school toys are to be shared, rules are to be followed and teachers must divide their attention between all the children in the class. The song describes the world at school: “At school I raise my hand in the air, when there’s something that I want to share,” and “In school I have a special place, It’s my desk, and that’s learning space.”
Since both the home and school environments are important to a child’s development, how do we link the common and favorable traits that each provide? Let’s look at the following dimensions to illustrate how teachers and parents can use CLASS principles to ease the transition between these “two different worlds.”
Ed Sheeran's song “Two Different Worlds” punctuates the importance of the two worlds and that “both worlds are awesome” With knowledge and intentionality teachers and parents can work together using the CLASS dimensions to ensure that each half of of a child’s world is symbiotic and supportive.
A few years into teaching early childhood, I applied to work at a school that does incredible work in the local community. I was thrilled to get an interview but realized very quickly that, even though the environment was supportive and the students were wonderful young people, I was much too intimidated to work there.
One of the best things about teaching is having a fresh start every morning. Greeting your students plays an important part in setting the tone of your classroom. I like to think that, as teachers, we get a chance to make a good first impression each day. Let's take a moment to consider the impact greetings can have with students, not only at the beginning of the school day but throughout the day as well.
We all know people are naturally social beings—we need interactions to survive. But just because we’re naturally social doesn’t mean we know how to be social. We have to learn social behaviors—from our families, caregivers, and peers. Teachers play a key role in promoting social development, which includes peer play and friendships.