Achieving Preschool Success by Overcoming Anxiety

Upon the moment of entering our STEM classroom in the Fall of 2020 here at the Learning Pavilion, Tahj was super timid and non-interactive. Tahj started here as a part-time child for one month. During the first month, Tahj would come into the room and just stand by the classroom door. Once entering the building in the mornings, Tahj would have a hard time and cry. Due to COVID, this made his transition a little more challenging because parents cannot come inside the building. Tajh would not participate in breakfast, circle time, or indoor/outdoor activities. When I would ask Tahj to join the group or try and make conversations with him, it would end in tears.

Mrs. Cassandra, his teacher, would try different soothing techniques to calm him down. His teacher started to make small conversations with him every day to try and make him feel more comfortable in the classroom. Next, his teacher would let Tahj hold a stuffed animal at the table to try and see if that made him more comfortable. Little by little, Tahj would stop crying and at least sit at the table for breakfast. After that, Tahj would then start to come by the carpet for circle time. Mrs. Cassandra would observe Tahj and figure out toys that would interest him. She found that cars and animals were his favorites. Mrs. Cassandra would ask Tahj if he would like to play with those things to allow him to become comfortable in the classroom. Tahj’s parents have even noticed a difference since starting here at the Learning Pavilion. They said, “Tahj has made progress at the Learning Pavilion. He used to not tell us what he was learning at school. Now, he comes home happy and talks about what he is learning.” Tahj’s parents support him by implementing things learned in class and doing them at home.

Eventually, Tahj opened up and felt comfortable enough to play with other toys. Our next step was to get Tahj to interact with his peers. Mrs. Cassandra would observe and try and put Tahj in groups with children of similar likes. Mrs. Cassandra noticed that Tahj loved riding on bikes outside. She then tried to facilitate a game with the bikes that would allow Tahj to play with others. By the end of the month, Tahj opened up more and more. We are happy to say he now has friends, a huge smile on his face when he walks in the door, and participates fully in all activities. Tahj has made so much progress socially and emotionally since being here at The Learning Pavilion.

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