Preparing for a change

As a director, I don't really have to prepare the children when I go on a vacation. However, I remember as a teacher I did. Even more so when there was a child who had some behavior issues. Even last year, I had a child in the center who needed to know that I was in the office and available to him if he needed me. So, when I knew that I was going to be gone (even for a day) I always prepared them ahead of time. How long before I told them equals the length of time I would be gone. For example, I am going on vacation for a week starting Monday. If I were in the classroom, I would have started this Monday telling them, at circle time, that "next week Miss Jenni is going to be gone. I'm going on a vacation. I get to fly in an airplane, have any of you flown in an airplane?" I would have made it part of the curriculum. This way, there is no surprise to the children and they are prepared.
Could you leave for a day and not make a big impact? Probably. But why would you do that to a child? They depend on you being there. You are their security in an unsecured world.
For the most part, the children should be fine. It's the one's who have challenging behaviors that really need the input. They may not be challenging for you any more; but this is because you both have found a rhythm to your relationship. Remember what it was like at the beginning of the year when you first got them in your classroom? This is what their week will be like if you don't let them know ahead of time. They will adjust much better if you give them advanced notice.
When you get back, make sure you bring pictures of things they will enjoy. One year I took a road trip and saw a train getting filled at a station. The boys went nuts over these pictures! Keep them in your mind and you can never go wrong!

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