The Duncan Banner

August 22, 2012

Students, parents work to calm back to school jitters

Derrick Miller
The Duncan Banner

DUNCAN — Apprehensions about the first day of school may have been calmed as students and parents met with their teachers the night before on Tuesday.

Duncan Public Schools annual Back to School Night provides a chance for parents and students to interact with their teachers. This allows teachers to talk about their expectations for both the student and the parent.

“It alleviates concerns any child who might be apprehensive about a new school or going back to school,” Angela Giles, Horace Mann second-grade teacher, said. “It puts a face with the teacher’s name.”

That night, students took their school supplies and backpacks to their classrooms.

This helped them get acquainted with their desks and reduced the number of items they had to bring on the first day of school.

At a couple of the transition years, there were orientations, including Freshman Focus for the ninth grade and a sixth-grade orientation at the Duncan Middle School.

For some kindergarten students, Back to School Night was the first opportunity they got to see their school and meet their teacher.

Plato Elementary kindergarten teachers Trisa Shelton and Abby Leonard said kindergarten students can be apprehensive and excited about starting elementary school. But it’s usually the parents who have the harder time with the transition.

“It’s about getting to know your parents, taking the first day jitters away from the kids,” Shelton said. “It makes it easier for the parents and the kids.”

During Back to School Night, teachers went over procedures with parents and students, and distributed information from the office. Leonard provided the ABCs of Kindergarten.

“We all start out on the same page,” Leonard said. “They get to know our expectations. We get to know the parents, which helps us get to know the students better and see where they’re coming from.”

This is Leonard’s first year teaching kindergarten and her first year at Plato. Previously, she taught third grade at Mark Twain Elementary School. Coincidentally, her classroom this year was her third grade-classroom when she was in elementary school at Plato.

“We get to start kindergarten together,” Leonard said.

Giles said the evening also helps teachers to start making the connection with their students, including learning names and faces.

“It helps puts names with faces, refreshes my memories of last year,” Giles said. “We get as excited as the kids do.”

Although the night did give some students a chance to meet their teachers and get situation in their classrooms, some students were unable to attend. This will push their first meeting with their teachers to the first day of school.

“There are some times when kids can’t attend, and we understand that,” Giles said. “The one’s who do seem more at ease (the first day of school).”