As September draws closer, children across the province are preparing to take their first steps into a whole new world: elementary school. And while first day of class can be a daunting experience for any child, it can also be a thrilling one.
Helping new students ease into things is something Steve MacGregor, interim principal at Deep Cove elementary, and his staff are genuinely excited to take on.
“There’s something special about the enthusiasm, especially from our kindergarteners that come through the door,” says MacGregor. “There’s an absolute love of school and love of learning. It’s our job to maintain that and build on that.”
MacGregor acknowledges that the first day can be a challenge for kids. “There’s no question, especially when we think of our kindergarteners, that can be a long day,” he says. “I can think back to when my own daughter was in kindergarten, that’s a long day to be minding your P’s and Q’s, minding your best behaviour.”
But, MacGregor says “we’re happy to have educators here [who are] appreciative of that, [and are] able to adapt their methods.”
One simple piece of advice for students that MacGregor shared, which in many ways transcends age groups, is to get involved.
“Whether it’s kids who are coming to us who have been in school [for a while] or for the first time,” MacGregor says, “one of the things they can do … is be willing to take risks and try things that are outside of their comfort zone.”
That can be anything from joining a club, taking up a new sport, or answering a question in class you aren’t 100 per cent sure about. “There’s lots of opportunity. You don’t have to put yourself way out there to try something new.”
As for the parents who may be equally nervous about sending their kids off for first time? Just stay in touch. “I tell parents quite often, don’t wait for there to be a big thing before you feel like you can talk to us,” MacGregor says. “If there’s something little and you want to check in, please do. Communication is a huge piece for us in keeping things running smoothly.”
“It’s good for us to be on the same page.”