Question 1: Do you say hello and good-bye to each child and family member everyday? What message do you think your hellos and good-byes (or lack of them) send?
Answer 1: As a future educator, saying hello and good-bye to each child and their families is essentially for everyday. When you greet the families and they are entering and even speak when they are leaving, it sends the message that you are acknowledging their presents within the classroom community. When families feel welcome within the classroom, this sends the message that their child’s learning and development is a priority because creating a connection with them and those who are close to them is a priority. This also leads into creating a connection with those who are within the classroom in order to get a better understanding of each child’s background. When you have a better understanding of the child and their background through connections made with the family, then you have a better idea of how to engage and develop the child’s education overall.
Question 2: What do you think about a child who cries a lot when his parents say good-bye? How does his crying make you feel? Do you feel differently about a child who never cries at drop-off time?
Answer 2: When a child cries a lot when their parents say good-bye could mean several things to me overall. When a child cries at departure, the children then this could mean that their child has separation issues and they do not want to be far from their parent figure. This could also mean that the child is not comfortable within the environment that they are in or the child could be having a bad day overall. When a child cries at drop off, this does not necessarily mean that the child hates being dropped off, they could just be having a bad morning or even be upset from some other unrelated matter. When a child never cries at drop off, I do not necessarily feel differently. No matter how the child comes into my classroom, my goal is to make sure that they are in a safe, developmentally appropriate, environment that caters to each child’s individual learning needs.
Question 3: What might explain some parents’ attempts to leave without saying good-bye? What are they feeling? How do you feel when parents leave that way? How do the children feel?
Answer 3: There is a few different reasons as why a parent might leave the classroom without saying goodbye to the child. One might be the fact that they are sad themselves or even scared of seeing their child leave them so soon. When parents leave “too soon” I never overthink it because parents are human too, sometimes they forget things, they have a lot on their mind, they might be sad to see their baby go and think that the sooner they leave the easier it will be. Depending on the child, the child might feel okay with the parent leaving because they know that they are in a safe space and environment. Some children might be sad or cry because they feel that they might have been abandoned, which in this case is the educators job to reassure the child and make sure they know that their parents are coming back for them later or even distract the child with different activities to get their mind off of it.
Question 4: How do you help parents reunite with their children at the end of the day? How does a parent feel when her child cries or keeps playing? How do you feel?
Answer 4: At the end of a very long day, when parents have arrived to pick up their child, this can be a joyful moment for most. Some parent come in and grab their child and go but with a simple transition then the child can feel content with leaving school and going home knowing they are back with their loved ones. A parent could come into the classroom and talk to the child about what they are doing in order to make some sort of connection with the child before pulling them away from any activity they may be doing. A parent might feel that their child is not interesting in them anymore or not too fascinated with the idea of coming home with them when the child does not want to leave the classroom or they might be thinking of new ideas of how they might engage with their child later on in order to get the same, if not a similar, reaction out of their child. Overall, I do not feel like the actions of the child reflects poorly on the actions of the adult or their skills of being a parent. As educators, although we are allowed a glimpse of a families’ life, we never know the full story. A parent may feel guilty because their child is having more fun at school than at home because they may be busy all the time, the story is never clear to understand therefore it is not my place to judge as an educator.