Well the weather isn’t quite as nice today. I’m out of new posts, but I am going through my writing from my first year and found this little gem. I smile as I read it… it’s almost like having a conversation with my younger self… which is either very cool or kind of crazy… maybe a little bit of both?
Anyway, here’s why I thought teaching kindergarten was the bomb. Oh, don’t forget to enter the giveaway too!
With the end of the calendar year looming, the news programs are all doing their year-end retrospectives. Naturally, this reflective time of year has me thinking about my own year. So many changes, both personally and professionally. The biggest being my move to kindergarten.
People often wonder why would anyone want to spend their days with five-year-olds? If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you know kindergarten is not easy. When I made the move to K from second grade my reasons were few, but meaningful.
As surprising as it may seem, the assessments in second grade were getting me down. I became a teacher to motivate, move, and make a difference. Testing kids, while a necessary evil to monitor progress and inform instruction, is a drag. The kids don’t like it, I don’t like it, it’s just no fun. Each year in second grade, it seemed the number of assessments were steadily increasing… creeping up on me like a vicious zombie out for attack.
While there are assessments in kindergarten, they’re much more informative. Almost all of the assessments I’m required to do are one on one. They’re not paper and pencil. They’re not boring. The kids get to spend one on one time with me and since I’m working with them one on one, I actually learn meaningful information about each child from the assessments.
Another reason I wanted to teach kindergarten is best illustrated by the following quote by Leo Rosten (forgiveness for repeating it, but it’s a good one):
“You can understand and relate to most people better if you look at them — no matter how old or impressive they may be — as if they are children. For most of us never really grow up or mature all that much — we simply grow taller. O, to be sure, we laugh less and play less and wear uncomfortable disguises like adults, but beneath the costume is the child we always are…”
I’d much rather work with kids than adults who simply act like kids. Kids are more fun. Kids like to be silly, sing and dance. Kids make me remember to view the world with innocence and curiosity. Kids bring a warmth and vitality to my day I never experienced when I worked with adults all day.
Quite simply, teaching kindergarten allows me to be the best teacher I can be. I’m learning new things about my craft and myself everyday. As the new year approaches, I know there are more challenges and changes ahead. I’m hopeful of my ability to meet them head on. Kindergarten isn’t easy, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Why do you teach kindergarten (or whatever grade you teach)?