1. The number one thing you can do to ensure your child is well taken care of at preschool is to be generous, communicative, patient and kind to your child's preschool teacher. Especially- but not only- when your child is non-verbal, a good relationship with the teacher is essential to understanding your child's day at preschool. Mistakes and miscommunications and problems will happen, but it's how you deal with it that matters. Lead with a smile. Or at least a friendly expression!
2. If you want to know if anything 'important' happened during your child's day at preschool, you have to a) define important to the teacher: tantrums? sleeping/not sleeping at nap? hitting? crying? moping about? Be specific. b) ASK. When a parent day in and day out comes in and out of school not asking how their child's day was or never asking follow up questions to a response of 'mmm OK', we mostly assume you don't really want to know.
3. If you want a complete answer to how your child's day was, be politely receptive to the truth. If every time we tell you, for example, ' She cried a lot today ' you get defensive and angry and blaming toward us, it makes it very hard to give you the whole picture when we talk.
4. Remember that the answer to ' But she/he never does this at home?! ' is almost always
' That's because they are at home. ' Not at preschool, in a much more demanding, noisy, and little people populated environment. Unless you happen to kick it like the Gosselins, you can't expect your child to act the same at home as they do at school. They will likely nap, eat, play and express frustration differently at preschool.
5. If you want us to change something for your child, like a rule, an environment or a response, please do it with the expressed understanding that things can only change so much for one child when there are so many, and offer up a solution that doesn't put an unfair burden on the rest of the class. IE: If your child won't nap at nap time, asking if he/she can silently read while laying down is OK, asking if your child can be taken outside to play is not.
6. Please don't ask us to work on something with your child that you can't or won't back up at home. If you want the paci gone, please don't pop it in their mouth to keep them from crying on the car ride home. It sucks for us, but most importantly, it sucks for your child. They can't adjust to inconsistent rules.
7. Realize that your child is special- just like every other child in the preschool.
8. Your child is going to get bothered by other kids occasionally- a biter, a pincher, a face maker- and at some point, be the one bothering someone else. Remember this when you decide how angry you are that Johnny hit your baby on the hand with a plastic truck. It's crazy humility making when the parent you were hating on in the preschool yard because their child hit yours is now the same one eying you because your child gave them an eighties asymmetrical haircut at nap time.
9. LABEL EVERYTHING
10. Remember to laugh. It's preschool, not college, not even middle school. They are babies, really, so let them be silly and exasperating and energetic and fussy and make mistakes, because that's how they roll. *Down the hill, ripping a big one in their pants the whole way.