First Day at School
Earlier this month, for the first time I really felt like a parent.
This might seem like a slightly odd confession given that I have two children; but bear with me and all will become clear :)
My eldest is now 3 and this month started doing half-days at a local nursery school. As part of the "settling in process", on the first day, you take your child into the class and spend the session sitting on the sidelines; on the second day, you take your child into class, but then you leave them there and go and sit in the staff room; then, finally on the third day, you take them in and are allowed to leave the building.
At Perform, I'm obviously used to seeing it from the teacher's point of view. I've been running sessions for over ten years so it's second nature to reassuring anxious parents (and of course children). We bring the children into the session then encourage the parents to go off and grab a little time for themselves.
So it felt really strange being on the other side - seeing things for the first time from a parent's point of view.
Fortunately my son is pretty confident and independent; he needed little encouragement to go and get stuck in and absolutely loved it.
I, on the other hand, felt a little out of my comfort zone. I was the parent not the teacher - which was always going to feel a little strange so I guess I sort of expected that. But I didn't expect to feel nervous around the other parents!
I felt a little like I did on my first day at University - nervous of my peers! It seems odd to admit it - after all I'm around parents all the time. But this was a little different. Being around parents in a professional capacity is what I do most days. But I wasn't there as "Lucy from Perform" - I was" Lucy the Mum". I found myself worrying - will they like me? Do I look ok? Perhaps I should have dressed a little smarter / more casual / a little more 'on trend'? Yes I know I was being ridiculous; and of course the other parents were all absolutely lovely and not at all scary once we got chatting.
What did I learn? Well it's given me real insight into how parents feel when they drop their children off at Perform. It's really easy for us teachers to be blasï¿½. We're confident that the children will have a really good time and of course we've seen it all before with hundreds of other children. But it's natural for parents to worry.
That said, children really do pick up on the emotions of their parents. When it comes to first days at school or after-school activities, if you're nervous or worried, your children probably will pick up on it. So if you believe that they'll have a great time, they're more likely to; and if all else fails bring out your very best game face :)
Do let me know about your first day at school experiences via the comments :)