It is essential as little people arrive at school and have their first experience away from home, that we make them feel safe. Learning doesn’t happen unless our students feel that they are in an environment that is safe and that they are surrounded by adults who care about them. This MUST be an ongoing process, reminding them and showing them that school and their classroom are safe places to be.
At the beginning of year, when asked:
“Where’s my mommy/daddy?”
One example of a response could be:
“They’re not here but I’m here, I’m your teacher and I’m going to take care of you and keep you safe and love you so you don’t need to worry.”
The most important part of Kindergarten is reassuring children that they are safe and cared about when they are at school.
A dynamic and experienced Kindergarten teacher referred to her children as Kinderbunnies. She would start the year out by reading Margaret Wise Brown’s book, “The Runaway Bunny”
In the story, the young bunny is determined to runaway. Each of his fanciful ideas are thwarted by his mommy’s persistent pursuit. In the end, the young bunny decides to stay safely at home.
After reading the book, she discusses why the mommy followed her little one so relentlessly. Ultimately the children tell that the mother bunny wanted to keep her bunny safe because she loved him.
With the students, she then looks up and down, side to side, for their mommies.
Of course they aren’t there.
She wonders aloud with them, “Who will keep them safe?”
She then pledges to here students that at school, she will be the teacher bunny and will always care for them and keep them safe.
They will be her kinderbunnies.
Throughout the first days of school, she talks about key people around the school (i.e., the principal, office administrators, custodial staff, bus drivers…) and introduces them to the students explaining that they are people who will also help to keep them safe.
The other great perk about calling kinders kinderbunnies is that bunnies have big ears that help them listen and bunnies twitch their noses, but make very little noise!