The transition from kindergarten to first grade can be difficult at the beginning.
In kindergarten, students had their own playground, restrooms located in the classroom, did not have desks, ate lunch at home and were in school, generally, from three to four hours. In first grade, the students mix with the other elementary school students, leave the classroom for nearby bathrooms, sit at desks, eat lunch with other students and have a day extended by around two hours. This takes some adapting.
When first graders complain upon being picked up that the day is too long, they are tired, school is no fun and school is confusing, please listen to them. Let your children express their feelings, then reassure them they will get used to these changes. Encouraging students to talk about their initial feelings is important. Depending on the individual child, this period of adjustment can occur quickly or last for weeks.
As a parent, it’s unpleasant to hear your child complain, but as a teacher of first graders for more than a decade, and an educator in and out of the classroom with 30 years experience, know that soon each child will be talking about positive school experiences.
Louise G. Feinberg, retired teacher, Fresno