Adaptation Proces...

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Adaptation Process

Adaptation process


The adaptation process to the school environment represents the first time the child adjusts to new social conditions, and may happen at different ages, according to each family’s context. Novelty usually brings insecurity even to adults, and being aware of this, we know that this process is intense in pre-school education, and is entitled to a careful, sensitive and attentive outlook on individuality.

The child’s first day at Puzzle is very well thought, so that he or she feels welcome since the initial contact with the adult responsible for this process. In this first moment, we always ask for the presence of a family member or caregiver, so that the child can face this new environment close to someone she can trust.

The adaptation period at school is the moment where the child is beginning to get used to the school ambiance, getting to know the games and recognising the adults responsible for this process, as well as peers. It is worth mentioning that there is no deadline for this period, as no child is the same as another. We work daily on this process, evaluating each new child’s advances.

Children are for the first time getting out of their comfort zones, leaving home which was up to then their entire world, to settle into a new environment, with new faces, smells and feelings. During these first contacts, we prioritize a bond with the adult. There is no expectation that the student participates in the school routine, we do not insert rules and agreements, which will furthermore be introduced.

We try to understand the child’s favourite games and activities, how he likes to be called and whether he has been in another school environment. These are some of the information that the teacher has access to before the child enters school, so that he is better prepared to receive the student.

Once the bond is made, the child will feel safe to securely say goodbye to his family member or caregiver. A transitional object, such as a pacifier, a toy or even an object belonging to mummy or daddy can help a lot in the process. At Puzzle we always respect the child’s affective memory, as we know how important this moment is. In this initial phase, we encourage the child to bring this known object to school, helping in the facing of the new daily challenges which will come up.

When the child is part of the full day program, this insertion happens in a gradual manner, as the days go by. In this way, the student is able to become familiar with his surroundings and teachers.

It is well known that the first way that the child shows displeasure is through crying, and thus it is important to know that it won’t be different during the adaptation process. It is the teacher’s responsibility, however, to understand this cry and find ways of bonding with this child.

The child’s cry, during the insertion process, seems to be the reason that promotes most anxiety both to parents and teachers. But there also seems to be a belief that crying is inevitable and that the child will end up getting used to school, overcome by physical or emotional exhaustion, giving up crying. Some believe that, if too much attention is given, as well as too much cuddling, the children will become whiny, leaving them to cry. This experience must be avoided. A special attention must be given to the children during these moments of crying, bringing them to one’s lap or suggesting interesting activities.

(RCNEIS, vol.1, 1998, p.82)

The child’s cry does not necessarily mean that something is wrong, or that she doesn’t like the surroundings in question, but is a manner of expressing the different feelings that go through her head and are difficult to name.

In offering activities that distract the child, a bond is consolidating. In building a tranquil and healthy adaptation process to the child, we promote a positive beginning to scholarity, which will certainly remain with this student as an affective memory.