Questions Every Parent Should Ask Their Kids’ Preschool Teacher
Starting preschool is a momentous occasion for any growing child, of course, but it’s also a big turning point in your life as a parent too. Maybe you’ve been staying at home until your child reaches preschool age, or perhaps you’re curious about how to smooth the transition from daycare to a more structured environment with new rules and more people to meet. Thankfully, you can assuage some of your concerns by clarifying a few important things with your child’s preschool teacher and look forward to a year of fun firsts and friendships. Read over this list of thoughtful questions for preschool teachers so you can work out all the details.
What is your educational background?
It’s essential that your child’s teacher has plenty of relevant experience working with younger children and understands the ins and outs of their developmental growth and milestones. Most people with degrees in early childhood education have dozens of hours of hands-on practicum experience working in classrooms even if it’s their first year officially teaching, and this level of competence is important for ensuring a curriculum that meets your child’s needs. Ask if the instructor has CPR and first aid certification, too.
What active play opportunities do you plan?
The preschool age is a period when your child is consistently refining his or her gross and fine motor skills, and opportunities for active play are crucial for facilitating these new abilities. Creating unique crafts and scribbling crayon masterpieces hone smaller hand movements, while getting outside for a round of tag or catch works larger muscle groups. Ask about the types of games and work the teacher plans on having the class do to ensure there’s a broad enough variety.
What life skills are part of the curriculum?
Preschool is primarily about having fun, sure, but it’s about having fun in an environment that offers structure, guidance and the opportunity to start learning important life skills that translate into common tasks in kindergarten the next year. Ask your child’s instructor about the practical skills he is planning to teach the class. Ideally, the group should get ample chances to learn about sharing with each other, keeping their spaces organized and cleaning up after making messes.
How do you handle discipline?
Learning how the preschool teacher handles conflicts and behavioral issues is another compelling piece of information you require, because you want to be sure his techniques align with your parenting style and encourage positivity. The instructor should try to refocus problem behaviors to something more constructive, not punish children without providing an alternative behavior that’s appropriate. This is also the time to find out how the teacher models conflict resolution in a way that’s effective for young minds to grasp.
Do the kids have naptime?
All those flurries of fun play can certainly take their toll on youngsters’ energy levels, and resting with a nice nap helps them restore and refresh. Ask the preschool teacher if there is naptime, how long it lasts and whether she helps the kids wind down beforehand with some tales from a storybook. You should also find out if the children go to sleep at the same time every day; this is important for adding structure to the day and providing your child with some stability he can look forward to.