Now the fun really begins!
With the first few weeks of nursery school under our belts we have officially hit the sweet spot of being in the groove. I know that in the 3’s the children have learned to navigate all of the rooms, learned how to sit in line for hand washing, and are getting the hang of pouring their own water.
I want to thank all of the parents for trusting us to work with your children. The trepidation that comes with leaving children, especially young children, in a new place with new teachers is valid and understandable. Some of the children made a seamless transition to the new school year and others are still working on learning to separate. We know that each child and each adult has a different comfort zone with this kind of transition and we hope that you feel supported in your child’s individual journey toward independence.
Recently, some of our new parents have had the opportunity to be helping parents at nursery school and they are amazed at how self-directed and busy the children are. Many of the children have a plan of just how they want their day to start, who they want to play with and what teacher they need to see to get their needs met. Just three weeks ago, these children had never set foot at our school and now they walk around with such pride and ownership that it is hard to believe they haven’t been coming for years.
Now that they are in their comfort zone at nursery school we are going to start to offer them activities where they will be asked to do things that they have never done before. Next week in the 3’s and 4’s we’ll be cutting up apples, cooking them and making them into applesauce. We are excited to get out the real tools and start sawing, hammering and drilling soon after that. We’ll also be harvesting our pumpkins and turning them into Jack-O-Lanterns. Some children will jump right in and others will stand back and watch. We’ll encourage all of the children to participate and hopefully we’ll help them get to a place where they are willing to take the risk, overcome their hesitation and join in. We’ll build up their confidence, give them the time, space and materials to achieve a modicum of competence in the task at hand, and work them through challenges and mistakes to bolster their resilience.
Competence, confidence and resilience are all part of learning on our way to mastery whether we are in preschool or graduate school. Kelly and I will be talking about the learning process and why we teach the way we do at nursery school and how you can infuse some of what we do into your interactions with your child during their non-nursery school hours. We’ll be hosting a one evening parent education event at the nursery school on October 23rd from 7 – 9 p.m. for all interested parents. We’ll place sign-ups on the bulletin board by the gate to gauge interest and know how many sets of material to prepare for the evening. If you have questions or would like more information about the evening please don’t hesitate to talk with either of us.
Again thank you for trusting us with your children, for coming to all of the back-to-school events and for becoming part of the fabric of our First Congo community. We look forward to a fantastic year of discovery, learning and partnership.
It seems very appropriate that the topic of our Parent Ed night this fall, during this year when we are focusing on our core value of partnership in learning, is ‘Confidence, Competence, and Resilience.’ We know from current research on the brain and learning that unless a child (or any learner, for that matter) feels safe — that is, relaxed and confident — he or she is not open to learning. If energy is tied up in anxiety about performance, frustration with the pace of progress, or uncertainty about moving through ‘roadblocks,’ the learner does not have a full tank for the long haul. Parents have marvelous opportunities every day in their interactions with their children to promote confidence, competence, and resilience — to partner with them to encourage the growth of the mindset that will allow the fullest flowering of all of their potential.
Carrie and I, along with the rest of the staff, look forward to partnering with you this year to provide a wonderful experience for your child, to bolstering their confidence, building their competence, and encouraging their resilience. And, we want you to feel confident, competent, and resilient as you continue along your journey as a parent to your delightful children. We’re ready to stand as your partners!
Parent Welcome Party
The second Friday night of the new school year was the perfect time to assemble as a community to introduce ourselves to many new families and renew old friendships alike! Many thanks to Brooke Davi and Shea Singh who worked as a flawless team to coordinate the festivities. Our thanks also to Robyn Miller for her wonderful signs, and to Jen Glos for the marvelous photo boards which so many of us enjoyed poring over. We all had a terrific time!
Our Get-Acquainted Coffees are always a wonderful opportunity for building community right at the beginning of the school year, and we’re glad so many of you were able to attend! Tremendous thanks go to the Two’s Class Reps Amy Darling, Adeline White, and Jen Glos, and the Three’s Class Reps Margaret Munzig and Emily Gottfurcht for hosting their respective coffees at school; and to Missy Reller, for hosting in her home, and Class Reps Shea Singh and Robyn Miller for organizing the Four’s coffee.
And . . .
Thanks to all parents for: remembering to sign in; picking up your mail regularly; attending the Orientations; participating in the daily end-of-day clean up; and picking up your children on time! Your support is much appreciated!
Further, many of you kindly offered to help with replacing the school camera, which recently ‘went missing’ from the office. The Weck family (Serena, T-Th) has stepped forward to offer a very fine camera which their family is no longer making use of — so we’ll be able to keep snapping away, catching all those magical moments at school. We’re so very grateful!
New Website URL
Our website has a new URL, firstcongonurseryschool.org, but all of the same wonderful resources and features that our families enjoy. Besides the Newsletter, you’ll find the Week Ahead posted to the site, a list of upcoming events, and a calendar that is loaded with information, including the list of participating parents on a given day. Simply let your mouse hover over a date and a box pops up with everything you need to know! Also look for Kelly’s Picks (book recommendations) and links to interesting articles related to parenting and education, find the Directory and Handbook, and check out the staff bios if you’re interested.
Remember, your user ID will change year to year based on the class in which your child is enrolled, but your password will remain the same. So, for instance, for a family with a child in the Two’s program, the user ID is twosparent, and the password is 2015Family (2015 being the year the child will ‘graduate’ from First Congo). Next year this same family will have the user ID threesparent, but the password for this family remains the same.
[The password for this year’s 3’s is 2014Family; and for this year’s 4’s it’s 2013Family]
CPK Fundraiser Day and Night
Yes, that’s what they call it, and it really is fun! If you order food anytime during the day and night on October 16th, eat-in or take-out, and turn in the coupon along with your payment, a portion of your total bill is given to the nursery school — simple as that! A coupon will be forwarded to each family electronically closer to the event, so watch for yours, then make your plans for the 16th to join us!
Parent Ed Night
Mark your calendars now and sign up on the Bulletin Board at school:
October 23rd 7:00-9:00 p.m.
Our topic is ‘Confidence, Competence, and Resilience’ this time around, and we (Carrie and Kelly) look forward to sharing an evening with you full of lively dialogue!
The Newest Members of Our Community
Two families have added to their numbers since the beginning of the school year! The Hu family (Amber, T-Th) welcomed Matt into the fold, and the Murphy family (Mera, Tuesday 2’s) added baby sister Mave to their clan. Congratulations all around!
And finally . . .
All are welcome to attend the Parent Advisory Council meeting on October 8 at 7:15 p.m. We hope to see many of you there!