Letting Go

Today, was the first day that kids came to school.  It was only a half day for my kids and their parents came with them (and the regular teacher was there).  But, it still got me to thinking about letting go.

I have learned, or at least I hope I have, how to let go better.  I have learned that there are times when you have to let go.  I have learned that letting go doesn’t always have to be a painful experience.  I have learned that letting go can be the most painful experience of your life.  I have learned that letting go is a huge growing experience.

I was asked a few times by other teachers today how things went.  I think they went well.  I didn’t have to do much, as the regular teacher went through her packet and covered everything that she needed to cover.  We did have some tears.  Which is completely normal for kids that are only 4 or 5.  We did not have any parent tears today, which was nice.

So, as I was thinking about letting go.  I thought about these kids.  The ones who got really shy.  The ones that didn’t want their parents to leave them.  The ones that didn’t want to talk to me.  Or the regular teacher.  Or the aide.  Or the other children.  It got me to thinking about how different things are today than they were when I was a student.

I am sure that I had anxiety about the first day of school.  I know that I’ve had tears on the first day of school (partially because my mother sent me to my older brother’s class).  I know that these things are normal.  I don’t remember (and maybe I blocked it out) of ever being terrified of leaving my mom or dad.  I don’t remember crying even when they were standing next to me.  I am sure I clung to them at times.  And maybe I did freak out a time or two and not want them to leave me at all.  But I don’t recall that.

So, is there a right way to let go?  Do parents need to make sure that they are sending their kids even if they aren’t ready for their kids to leave?  Do parents need to give the kids a chance to become independent and stand on their own two feet?

Yes, I think they do.  And I think school is a great place for them to do this.  I think that it is a great place for parents to start letting go.  I think it is a great idea for this first day orientation, where the kids can stay attached to their parents for just a moment longer.  I think it’s a great idea for the kids to be able to see the environment they will be in while still having the safety net of their parents nearby.

I think that it’s a process.  I think that the parents are just as nervous (if not more nervous) as the children.  I think that the parents need to make sure they aren’t making the children any more nervous.  I am hoping that I didn’t come across as too nervous.

I enjoyed today.  I enjoyed seeing the kids.  I enjoyed meeting the kids.  I enjoyed meeting the parents.  I enjoyed being able to watch the children today.  So that I can teach them better tomorrow.

Letting go is not easy to do.  It is always a growing experience.  It can be painful.  I am hoping that as I transition these children to be more independent from their parents, it is a joyful learning experience.  Not a painful crippling experience.  I pray for the strength to be able to guide the parents and children well.  I pray for the strength to know what to do.  And I pray for the children to be a huge success.

Do you have children?  How was your process in letting them go?  Are you still trying to let go?  Are you worried about having to let them go if they’re still little ones?  Do you have any advice or stories about letting things go?

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