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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

What do you wish you had been told when you began teaching KINDERGARTEN


A former coworker of mine at my first school, emailed me last night needing help! She just found out she is moving from 2nd grade to Kindergarten. I was honored that she thought of me for help! I spoke with her a few minutes this morning before I had to teach summer school. I have invited her to come observe my summer school class, to get an idea of the academic levels of the students she will be getting. I mean I have one who writes her first and last name perfectly and 3 who have no idea what to do when I say write your name. I am hoping she takes me up on it and I don't scare her to death before she even starts. But I think it would be extremely beneficial.

One of her comments made me think. You all need to write a book about what you wish you had been told before teaching kindergarten. So I thought it would be fun to see how many answers we can all get to her comment.

What do you WISH you had been told when you began teaching KINDERGARTEN?

Here is my biggie.

Whatever you THINK they know.... they DON'T!

They can't write their name, they can't sit still, they can't use scissors, they can't button their pants, they can't open their lunch, etc. Yes there are a few exceptions which is why I love kindergarten. 

I feel that we get to see the MOST growth from the beginning to the ending of the year. I mean we have to get them reading and writing by the end of the year.

So I am going to try to help her out as much as I can, so I need your help. 

Now my system does not have a Kindergarten Curriculum. We have Common Core, but we can teach any way we want to. We do not have textbooks or teacher's guides! You come up with whatever you need to teach the standards. So I know that is another answer to my question, but I want to know yours. 

Please comment below and let me know your thoughts, so I can share them with her.

What do you wish you had been told when you began teaching KINDERGARTEN?

Thanks

8 comments:

Sarah

I will begin my first year teaching kindergarten this fall too. I can't wait to check back and read everyone's advice. Love your blog!

Yeehaw! Teaching in Texas

Jennifer Tilton

Well, this will be her first year, but with every new year, I have to stop and remember what babies they are. It is hard when you just sent on independent and reading (hopefully) students two months ago. Getting a new crop of kindergarteners every year sometimes puts me in shock!
Jennifer
kindertrips

Vanessa

That is a hard question... I wish someone had told me that I need to prepare myself for the kindergarten parents! I started teaching at 23 and I was most worried about what they would think of this baby teaching their babies. Well, nothing has changed...5 years in! Parents are quite concerned about all of the happenings in our classrooms each year and for good reason, I'm sure. It still makes things a little more challenging especially when the new kindergarteners can hardly sit in their chairs! =)
Vanessa
Kindergarten Schmindergarten
PS
I am also very lucky to have freedom in how I teach to the standards. No textbooks, no teacher's guides and no crazy tests/assessments each month. How much do you love that trust? I don't ever want to leave my school for this (among many) reason. =)

Jessica

I agree with all of the above! To add to everyone's.... I have found that you NEVER stop modeling and practicing rules and procedures all year long. And don't feel bad if something doesn't work. Learn from it, move on and try something new! What works for one teacher and his/her students, may not always work for everyone! So find what works for you and your students and roll with it! (Whether it be classroom management/teaching styles/etc.)
Jessica
Under the Alphabet Tree

Buggy In Kindergarten

I think this would be a really good linky party... Anyways! I wish I had of known/reminded of the basics... they are still babies... they need you to teach them EVERYTHING not just the curriculum. Kindergarteners are different than any other grade. You give them their foundation for the rest of the school years.

Heather Shelton

Tangelia I had thought about doing this as a linky too! I am sure lots of people could contribute! And it's very good information for anyone starting teaching K!

So when i get home from summer school I will post a new one as a linky. If I can figure out how! Thanks for the suggestion. Everyone look back for the linky.
Heather

Tricia

The kindegarten teacher is the first teacher to maybe suggest that a child is maybe not as perfect as mom and dad think. Be honest but delicate during conferences. By the time the family goes to conferences in second grade they have already heard the same things a couple times.

Tricia
Queen with Class

Curious Catherine

Push fine-motor skills. The worst thing I did my first year was not strengthen my K's hands and coordination enough for stamina.

The beginning of the year is a huge production of icons/illustrations and writing to reach every reader/non-reader.

Manditory bathroom reminders. The first mistake I made at open-house was NOT asking how strongly potty trained their darlings were. It would have saved me.

Organization will save you! I have learned that I need to include a weekly celebration for my class - that I should plan in advance - so that all the little accomplishments are not just verbally praised by me, but acknowledged at home through certificates.

Plan for parent volunteers to cut out laminate - it'll save your hand, they can do it at any time or place.

~ Catherine

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