This is the time of year when so many changes are occurring at the Collective. Little Stars are preparing to move to the Bears Room, Rainbow Room, or a new school in September. Many Bears and Rainbows are preparing to move onto kindergarten or preK, while others are anticipating staying in their rooms as “the big kids” with new, younger classmates.
To help children navigate these transitions, the teachers this week are spending circle times talking to the children about these imminent changes and acknowledging all the different emotions they may be experiencing: sadness, excitement, joy, fear, and more. It is so important to give your child space to express these emotions and to be accepting of their responses to these changes. At the same time, children need reassurances that while things will be different next year, there will also be things that stay the same, e.g., their families, their homes, and their old friends. For those children who are leaving the Collective, it is helpful for them to know that they can always play with their old friends and visit their old school, where their former teachers and many former classmates will be so, so happy to see them. For the Little Stars, it is helpful for them to know that they will still see their friends and old teachers even if they are in a different room – and hopefully their friends who are leaving will come and visit.
To help make these changes more concrete and understandable, the teachers have made stick people of all the children by taping the children’s photos to popsicle sticks. The children are then putting their stick “person” into a box that is labelled “Bears Room,” “Rainbow Room,” or “New School” – and all the children in each room are learning where their classmates are going in September. Also, the Little Stars will visit the Bears and Rainbow classrooms tomorrow to check out their new rooms (while the Bears and Rainbows are outside), and Wednesday and Thursday they will visit again and meet/play with their new teachers and classmates. (Children who are leaving/graduating will play elsewhere during these visits.)
Also, as I announced earlier, the specific teams for the 2016-17 school year will be:
Little Stars: Mae, Shameka, Nivin, Margaret, and Lillian
Bears: Elizabeth, Olive, Sherri, Patricia, and Lily
Rainbows: Iris, Dawn, Monica, Carmen, and Bianca
As always, please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. Transitions can be difficult, but with lots of love and support, we can help make them easier.
PS Another tip for families who are leaving: if you haven’t already, do take your child to visit her/his new school, even if it is just the outside of the building. It can help immensely to see the actual, concrete place where she/he will be going in September.