Through social media, I have had the privilege of getting to know many insightful and inspirational educators from around the world. As a way to share my growing professional learning network with you, I will be posting guest blog posts from different people so that you too can have an chance to learn from and reflect upon their experiences, wonderings, ideas, and understandings.
Please enjoy this beautiful letter written to a child from Nadine Osborne.
Soon the first day of school will be here, the very first day of school for you. You may be excited, nervous or perhaps even a little bit scared. I am all of those things too, but I am your teacher. I want to tell you a little bit about myself before you come to meet me in person.
All summer long I have been getting things ready for you. I have been collecting beautiful natural materials from the world around us to share with you. I have been reading books to help me learn how to be the best teacher I can be. I have been talking to other teachers and discovering new ways of doing things that are exciting and fun. I have been shopping for things that I think will help you and your friends: wonderful books to read, materials to invent and create with, and tools to help us build and investigate. Even though I haven’t met you yet, you have been in my thoughts every day.
I wonder what might worry you about school. Will you be sad to leave your mommy and daddy? That is o.k. I will understand. I will let you feel sad if you need to feel sad. I will help you find activities and friends that will let you express how you are feeling. Sometimes my friends like to paint a picture to take home to their family. Sometimes they like to do things that are familiar and comforting like play with Lego or blocks, or trains. Sometimes they like to play in the sand table and feel the softness of the sand as they pour it over their hands and make swirly, curly shapes. Are you worried about the bathroom or having an accident? We have bathrooms that are just your size, and I never, ever say “no” if you need to use the bathroom. If you do have an accident, I never make a fuss or get upset. I remember when I was in Kindergarten I wet my pants too. It happens. If your mommy or daddy or caregiver forgot to pack extra dry clothes I have some ready in the “just-in-case cupboard”. In the winter, I even have extra mitts and snowpants in my “just-in-case” cupboard. Grown-ups forget things even when they love you and try their best. Are you worried that you will be hungry and you won’t be able to eat when you want to? In Kindergarten we let children eat when they are hungry and drink when they are thirsty. It is important for us to listen to the messages that our bodies give us. I understand. Don’t worry. If you need me to stay in the classroom while you eat, I will stay. The staffroom doesn’t need me & I can eat my lunch with you. Are you worried that you will be all alone and no-one will be your friend? That would be a very scary thought to have. If you need a little help to find a friend, I will help you. Most of the time it is a good idea to choose something that you like and someone else who likes the same thing will start to talk to you. Sometimes you might have to be super-brave and say “hi” first, but I know that you can do it (even if you need just a little encouragement).
Do you worry that you might make a mistake and do something wrong? I make mistakes and get things wrong all the time. Sometimes when I try to do something new I don’t get it right at all. But I always keep trying and I never give up. It is ok for me to take a long time to learn something new. It is ok for you too. I promise I will be patient and not rush you. I will let you fall. I will let you make mistakes. I will not get mad or yell at you. But I am not perfect. If I make a mistake, I will say so. Please understand that I am trying my best. I am a learner too, just like you.
I will always trust in your intentions and believe in you. I will take the time to listen because what you have to say is important to me.
If you get sick at school I will call your mommy or daddy or caregiver right away because I know that is who you need most when you are sick. But I will find you a quiet spot, and I will hold your hand or rub your back to make you feel better.
If you need me at recess and I don’t have yard-duty I will go outside with you anyway. Soon enough you won’t need me anymore. (I might have to go to the bathroom very quickly though – even teachers need to do that!)
I want you to know that I am so happy that I get to be your teacher that I wake up with a smile on my face every morning. That smile will be waiting for you on your first day of school. My heart is waiting to love you. See you soon!
Your Kindergarten Teacher
You can find Nadine Osborne on Facebook: @NadineOsborne; Twitter: @nadine1osborne; Instagram: