I've been teaching little children all of my life. I have four younger brothers I bossed as soon as they arrived in my world. I started teaching Sunday School when I was fifteen and had much more enthusiasm than common sense. I thought children were just naturally interested in what I had to say and would listen respectfully while I said it. Somehow I managed to live through thirty more years of teaching Sunday School and vacation Bible school with most of my enthusiasm still intact. Along the way I gained a lot more knowledge and common sense.
I also taught in private and church daycare for ten years. Then I decided it was time to go back to college and become a real teacher. I wanted that certificate on the wall that told the world I had earned the right to teach and I knew what I was doing. I also wanted more money and respect. I got my bachelor's degree in elementary education with an endorsement in early childhood education, and I got my Master's degree in administration. I've taught kindergarten for eight years now and I haven't regretted my decision for a moment. Teaching kindergarten is my dream job. Even on the worst of worst days I wouldn't want to do anything else.
However, today's kindergarten is a whole new world. It's not the kindergarten you remember, and it certainly isn't the kindergarten I remember. Kindergarten is more like our first grade with a dash of second grade thrown in for a challenge! I'm constantly amazed by what is expected of these little ones, and even more amazed by what they can actually do! When I start talking with parents about phonics and grammar and writing and spelling they look at me with incredulous stares. What? What? I try not to even mention addition and geometry.
So...after much thought and prayer, I have decided to start this blog in order to offer some help to colleagues and parents and grandparents. I hope to give you some advice, ideas, and stories that will entertain and enlighten. In the process I'm sure I will learn even more about what I'm doing. That's one of the perks of teaching children. Each challenge teaches me as much as I teach my students.
I welcome ideas, suggestions and questions. I hope you will tell your friends and family about my blog and be patient with me as I get it going. There are details to sort out and decisions to be made, but I think I'm ready to begin. Let's start with a few ground rules:
1. I will not use the real names of any of my students, either current or past.
2. I will try to provide links to research and experts so you aren't just listening to my opinions, but I warn you that I have some strong ones.
3. Any advice I give is offered with the best of intentions, but you use it at your own risk. I don't claim that everything I do will work for everyone else. Sometimes my own personality, my voice, and my "granny appearance" work to my advantage in the classroom.
Welcome to Kindergarten Today! It's a whole new world.