Did Your Kindergartener Get to Visit the Room/teacher Before School Started?

Updated on August 11, 2012
J.F. asks from Bloomington, IN
17 answers

I've taught at 2 other school districts and worked closely with a third. All 3 districts had the K kids come to the school before it started to meet the teacher and see the room.

Our school starts a week from Monday. I just got the letter (via email) from my daughter's teacher. It mentioned the "parent only" orientation scheduled for next week, but no other day or time to visit. The letter said to bring supplies at that meeting. It also had some other information that was contradictory to what the school had said and in the letter. So, I emailed the teacher for clarification and asked if I could bring my daughter in to visit before school started. (I'm also bummed that she doesn't even get to take her new supplies in.)

I got two quick (non personal) emails back with the updated school list and answers to some of my questions. Then, late last night I got a more personal email (I think she realized she didn't answer all my questions and wasn't personal). She said she would look at her calendar, but she had a lot of personal appointments this week. Sooooo, nothing was ever planned for the K students to visit.

Am I the only one who thinks it vital for new students to a school to visit it before their first day? She has only been to this building twice before. At K round-up (which they didn't even see the rooms), and when we went in for an early-enrollment evaluation (again, no where near the K rooms).

My daughter went to preschool and is naturally comfortable in a school environment, but I worry about sending her to school on a Monday morning to spend the ENTIRE day there with no idea of what to expect. And the letter made it clear we are to be gone within the first 20 minutes (which I get), but it doesn't make me feel any better.

She's a younger K student....won't be 5 until November. She's totally ready for K, but I think this would be worrisome for even older students who don't know what to expect. Even high school students get a chance to find their locker and classrooms before school starts.

I don't want to be pushy, but I want my daughter to feel as comfortable and confident as possible on her first day.

What can I do next?

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So What Happened?

Yep. It's the mamas who have the anxiety, not the littles. I know, I know, I know. :) I even taught elementary, but it doesn't take away from my worries. I think it might make it worse. :)

April -- Thanks for your post. It made me remember that my daughter DID get a chance to go visit the "big" school in the spring. The preschool took them (I didn't find out about the field trip until that morning....a whole other vent), so I didn't get to go or think about it much. I do feel a lot better knowing she has had somewhat of an orientation to the idea of what "big" school looks like.

My daughter hasn't been in daycare and only went to preschool 2 days a week for 2.5 hours a week. (They didn't have room for her to do more days last year.)

Feeling better.....just not by much. :) Thanks again!

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answers from Phoenix on

I think it's pretty weird that they're doing that, honestly. We had a Kinder orientation way before the school year started & then another Meet The Teacher night the week before school. It was nice to see the classroom, meet the teacher and the school, and to understand what was expected.

That being said, I think the kids are fine & will adapt quickly.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Austin on

She went to what is called a kindergarten round up in the spring. This is when the school district has everyone register.

As the parents are filling out forms, all of the children are taken to a kinder classroom, but this is just randomly done. It does not mean this is the classroom or teacher they will end up in.

So no, none of the children meet the teacher or know what class they will be in until the day before school starts.

They all do just fine.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Our school did not have a chance for K students to meet the teacher or see the classroom. I too thought it was a little odd. But the kids were fine. The school was really organized, and they know how to handle the K kids on the first day. They've been doing this for a long time, trust them.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Savannah on

I have no advice for you except to not let your own fear or concern show. Just be excited and happy, and she'll feel more excited and happy since little ones so often take their cues from us. But yeah----I'm very happy that our school has opportunities to see the school and stuff. I think it will help to cut down on the anxiety for all involved. I personally had NO problem in kindergarten (I didn't turn 5 until mid-October; the rules were different then though) because I was excited to go to school, and we didn't have all the introductory stuff. Mom says we lived so far out in the country a highschool bus picked me up and dropped me off. She wanted to stand at the end of the drive with me and I patted her arm and said "No mom, I a big girl now". She sat on the porch and cried, she said. My brother, same way: no special orientations, he just met everyone on the first day. We survived and it's going to be ok for your daughter too. Kindergarten teachers are a special breed, in my opinion, and they know how to handle little ones and understand how to make them happy and comfortable.

But yeah, things are much different now for my son. Last May, the last week or two before school let out, we went to early registration and had an appointment for my son to meet the counselor and have some basic "testing" done. They made it sound like no big deal, but it was just a couple counselors and my son, I wasn't invited in with my 2 year old in tow.....20 minutes later they came back and that was it. They were very excited that he not only knew sight words but was also sounding out words that were unfamiliar to him, etc....when we were in the car I asked what happened and he told me they played puzzles, shapes, and games, counted, read, talked a bit, etc. I'm guessing it was a placement test of some sort.

Then at the beginning of June we had kindergarten orientation where we went to a random kindergarten class and some current kindergartners (leaving for 1st grade) were there to partner up and show the new incoming students around the class, did different activities with them, there was a little presentation for the kids to watch (put on by other kids), and then they sang songs, played a game, and colored. While they were doing that, the parents got to see the computer lab, robotics department, and go to the lunchroom to hear the guidance counselor, assistant principal, and head principal give talks and explain some things. End of June, we had a school "family picnic" catered by a local restaurant where we got to see the set up of the school, walk to his assigned K class, most got to meet their teachers then (we didn't because the current teacher was moving to a different grade and they hadn't hired my son's teacher yet), but at least we got to see the room and know where it is, where the bathroom is, etc. Next Friday we have a meet the teacher scheduled, where we will go to his class, meet his new teacher, bring in the supplies, meet his teacher, etc. It's not private, it's just from 1-3 and everyone just comes as they can. The following Monday is his first day of school. It may be excessive to some, but I appreciate it! It has helped build up excitement and anticipation, not anxiety, over the summer.

A friend of mine says her son is moving to intermediate school (grades 5-6) this year and they're having a 3 hour camp for several days this week (9 hours total), to get them ready. I guess it cuts down on the actual school time being spent on telling them what is expected of them or whatever. He's liking it.

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answers from Springfield on

Our school does have "Meet the Teachers" night where parent and child go to the classroom to meet the teacher and dropoff supplies.

I think it helped, but he would have been fine if we had missed it. We were able to take him to school on his first day. We took him to his classroom and helped him find his seat, coat-hook, folder, etc. Once his teacher got there and said hello and got started, all eyes were on her and he was very excited to be there. He barely noticed us say goodbye and walk out the door.

She's going to be just fine!

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answers from Missoula on

Our school offers a six-week Kindergarten Readiness program in June and July. The kids go to the classroom and teacher they will have in the fall two mornings a week. It is designed for students who aren't quite ready for K and need a bit of help. My son is going to K a year early, so he did this program to meet the teacher and get comfortable in the classroom.

But on the first day of class my shy little guy took about two minutes to get comfortable then didn't need my there at all. I bet your daughter will be just fine :)

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answers from Kansas City on

i don't know about "vital" - i think she'll be fine. i don't think we had a visitation when i went to kindergarten. but my son's school is having one, yes. i think it's a great idea.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

here our first day is that moms are split in two time slots for a meeting while the kids play in the classroom with the aides and get familar with the classroom.... then the teachers and aides swith for part of the classroom time to meet the teacher and the kids....and the aides do the meeting. works great

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answers from Seattle on

Yup, during our kid's have kindergarten round-up they get to visit their classroom, teacher, and tour the school. We also got to take a ride on the school bus.

As much as I agree with the mama anxiety I also think it's really important for the kids. My little one has a lot more confidence when she is going into a comfortable and familiar place and when she can visualize an activity before hand. Just getting to touch the chairs and tables, put her eyes on the other kids and classroom - it makes a huge difference. She's so excited to go to school.

We also have an open house a few days before school starts.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Topeka on

I personally find that odd not to have a student meet the teacher day or night t bring in your supplies know where your classroom is where your cubby is,our school has this the night before back 2 school meet n greet.But when I was a kid we arrived the first day and just expected to know where to go of course there was all the teachers outside waiting for us greeting us and letting us know where to go,I like this much better with my kids.Beng on the PTO helps them know othere teachers/staff other than their own teacher principal nurse

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answers from San Francisco on

When my first three started school things were done the same way as yours. I always thought it odd that the parents meet the teacher and see the classroom but not the kids that are going there. They all did just fine however. Now my youngest is starting kindergarten on Monday and he got to meet his teacher yesterday and see his classroom. I feel better. I'm not sure it made a difference to him. But I feel better and that's what matters right? Teehee.

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answers from Washington DC on

Last year, my son got to go to "open house" the Thursday before school started on Monday. They did the parent orientation in the Spring, before we moved here, so we missed that and were glad for the "open house," but it was basically just the round-up stuff in the multi-purpose room then walking down to classrooms and finding his cubby for about 10 minutes.

As far as kids are concerned, they can do that on the first day of school... I just liked getting to take a few pics of him in his classroom and posing by his cubby etc.

If it were me, I'd just go with the school policy and be cheerful about it. The big anxiety for your LO is going to come from seeing you worry.


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answers from Salinas on

I have heard of both. I am really happy there was a meet and greet for the Kindergarten students at my son's school on Monday (school started Wednesday). We also had the parent only meeting a few days before that. The meet and greet allows us to see the class room and talk to the teacher and other kids/parents.

Could you make up an excuse to go to the school (drop of a paper or ask a question). I did this before school started and before I knew there was going to be the 'meet and greet.' The front desk lady walked us around and showed us where he would eat and play.

Some of my friends posted first day info on facebook. Several kindergarteners went to school without the tour and adjusted just fine on the first day. I have seen other kids with older siblings cry for the first 3 months of drop off even though they had been familiar with the school for years.

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answers from New York on

My son ( and the K's in the district where I teach) visited the K room in the Spring. If you can snap some pictures at the parent only orientation to show her that would be fun. A k classroom looks a lot like a preschool classroom and they never wander the halls of the big school without being in a line behind an adult!

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answers from Minneapolis on

We have an open house the week before school starts when ALL the students can come and see the class lists, who their teacher is, and drop off school supplies. It's not a one on one meeting. When my oldest started, we got there, had our picnic, went in to the classroom, dropped off supplies, then stood in line to meet his teacher. We got maybe 2 minutes of face time with her before school started.

I was freaking out when he got on the bus. But, he just got right on, and seemed fine.

We parents over worry these days... I am very guilty of it myself.

I guess she'll be fine :)



answers from Houston on

We have "Meet the teacher" night the Friday before school starts for all elementary students. We can't wait. My biggest question is whether or not I'll be able to walk him to his classroom on the first day.



answers from Bellingham on

Before starting K my sons had orientation in the classroom and school for half a day each week for eight weeks. The learned about the library, where the bathrooms are, how to speak to teachers, having lunch at school, where to put their bags etc.

There was also orientation and information evenings for parents to meet teachers and booklets with more info given to us.

So, yes, I think the settling in process at your school is a little light-on.

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