Although school has been in session for many since mid-August, the first week of September marks the beginning of school in the New York/New Jersey area! My social media feed is filled with friends and family posting pics of their children happily beginning their school year. My nieces Ana and Nadia started their first day of Kindergarten this week, and seeing their faces lit up with excitement was so adorable!
While starting Kindergarten and Pre-K carry feelings of excitement, it may also harbor a twinge of nervousness. Starting a brand new routine in a new building with total strangers can feel overwhelming! As Early Childhood/Elementary teachers, we hold some tools to gently guide children through the transition of school: warm words, gentle hugs, and inspiring reads!
I compiled a short list of books I’ve used in my experiences as an educator in both public and private school settings.
The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn
Chester Raccoon seeks love and reassurance from his mother as he ventures out into the world, attending his very first day of school. It’s so heartwarming to read about Chester’s mom comforting her son, giving him the assurance that his mother’s love will always be present.
Llama Llama Misses Mama by Anna Dewdney
Strange new teacher, strange new toys, lots of kids and lots of noise! Llama Llama starts his first day of preschool with much trepidation, but his Mama reassures him that he will have fun on his first day. I would read this story to my Toddler aged students as a reminder that their Mommy/Daddy loves them, and will indeed return at the end of their day!
Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten by Joseph Slate
As Miss Bindergarten readies her classroom for Kindergarten, her students get ready for their first day of school. This story shares the excitement a teacher experiences preparing her room for new discoveries, and a child’s excitement as they prepare for their first day in ‘Big Kids’ school!
Pete the Cat: Rocking in His School Shoes by Eric Litwin
This story takes you through Pete’s experiences during his first day of school. There are new rooms, lots of noise, and new faces! I enjoy the feel good message Pete gets across as he navigates through his school day: It’s all good!
What is your favorite book to ease ‘1st Day of School’ jitters? Let me know in the comments!