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A Historic Progressive Conservative Congregation in Valley Village, CA
A Dynamic Jewish Early Childhood Center Serving Children Ages 6 Weeks to Entering Pre-K
A Jewish Day School serving students in Grades TK-6
A Historic Progressive Conservative Congregation in Valley Village, CA

Mornings at ADAT

02/20/2020 03:05:50 PM


Sari Goodman

Imagine this.  You arrive a few minutes early to work.  You have time to grab a cup of coffee, exchange personal greetings, check in with colleagues, and look over your schedule for the day.  How do you feel?  

Now imagine this.  You arrive a little late to work.  Skipping the coffee and the greetings, you hurry to gather the material you need for the meeting that just started.  Entering the meeting, everyone looks at you while you try to figure out what you missed and “get on the same page” as everyone else. How do you feel?

After considering how you feel about the above scenarios, think about the student who arrives at school a few minutes early and one who arrives a little late.

Observe this.  A student arrives a few minutes early to school.  There is the opportunity to play a little, greet classmates and teachers, and look over the day’s schedule as written on the board.  There is time to sharpen pencils, make sure the laptop is charged, and retrieve the lunch box left the previous day.  Imagine how the child feels.

Now observe this.  A student arrives a little late to school.  Skipping play and greetings, the student fetches an attendance card from the office and scurries to the room where the lesson has started.  Hurriedly unpacking at the locker, and then entering the classroom, the other students look up while the student tries to figure out what was missed and “get on the same page” as everyone else.  Imagine how the child feels.

Arrival time for children is a big deal.  Children thrive on routines and time for transitions.  Living in Los Angeles, there are all kinds of obstacles that conspire against our efforts to be on time: traffic, accidents, malfunctioning alarm clocks, and dentists with only morning appointments available.  Children bounce back from the occasional detour. It is the frequent “we are late again” that has persistent influence.

Transitioning from home, to car, to school, and then to the classroom takes time and energy. I know when I rush and skip steps, I feel off balance and it takes effort for me to get on track.  Children need more time than adults to transition. “Getting on the same page” as everyone else is stressful for students and takes a lot of effort and support. Being late can become a habit and have long-term academic effects. 

The average number of tardies so far this year at ADAT is 14.  That means, the average student misses part of almost 3 weeks of morning lessons.  Let’s work together to reduce this number. Second trimester reports cards are coming soon.  Take a look at the attendance record. If your child has more than a couple of tardies, let’s make this a topic of discussion at parent conferences.  Together, we can brainstorm strategies that provide the children with the time to transition from home, to car, to school, and to class. Let’s imagine and observe students who have time in the morning to play, to greet, and consider the day ahead.  They will feel great.



Sun, March 29 2020 4 Nisan 5780