Jordan’s Experience with Separation Anxiety
One never knows how a child is going to react to their first few days at Montessori preschool, especially if it is their first time being away from home. For Jordan, one of my three-year-old students, he had never been in any sort of daycare or preschool setting before, so this week is his first experience in a classroom setting, meeting a teacher and meeting peers his own age. Fortunately, Jordan had no problem saying goodbye to his Dad at drop off time and was excited to show me his new indoor slippers for the Montessori classroom. The aspect that troubled Jordan was seeing some of the other children upset.
Jordan's Montessori Preschool Experience with Separation Anxiety: Insights & ReflectionsI glanced over at him while he was at his personal cubby getting his slippers on and could see his lip quivering and his eyes filling up with tears … definitely a sensitive little guy. I quietly approached him and talked to him about how he was feeling and explained that sometimes children have a hard time saying goodbye to their Mommies and Daddies but once they start feeling comfortable at preschool, they won’t feel so sad anymore.
I asked him if he would like to take my hand and sit beside me for circle time which he did. Once everyone was gathered together for circle, we talked a little about feeling sad and a few of the older children shared how they used to feel sad when they first started Montessori preschool. We talked about the drop-off and pick-up routine and I explained that pick-up time always happens after snack and outdoor playtime.
Knowing the Montessori classroom routine and feeling in control gives children such a sense of security. I also mentioned to the older Montessori students that if they notice one of the new students feeling upset, maybe they could offer to read them a book or do a special work with them at a floor mat to help them feel better. Jordan seemed much more at ease after the discussion and didn’t appear so anxious when he heard another child cry. In fact, the following day, he offered a little girl a tissue when she was crying - such a kind gesture!
Related NAMC blogs:
- Coping with Separation Anxiety
- Dealing with Separation Anxiety at the Start of the Montessori School Year
© North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Monday, September 13, 2010.