Sunday, September 29, 2013

Kindergarten is hard

Kindergarten is hard.

In March and June we forget just how hard kindergarten can be. By then the kids are independent, they are confident members of the school. They know the routines, they are starting to read, they walk boldly down the hallway and don't think twice about naps or extra snacks.

In September? Not so much.

We forget what a hard transition kindergarten can be. Many of the kids were in half day preschools before, so although they know how to follow school routines, listen to a teacher, and share their crayons they have a tolerance for only doing so for about three hours. After lunch time they are pretty much done. Only a few weeks ago it was nap time or quiet time or just down time. And now we're asking them to do math and reading and to keep sharing and to keep sitting up on the carpet and remembering to raise their hands.

Sharing all day is hard. Following directions all day might be even harder. Controlling those impulses to not call out, grab crayons, run across the room, and do your own thing? Nearly impossible.

It's coming together. Every day you can see the children standing up straighter, working longer, and remembering to raise their hands a little more. It's a work in progress. On Friday a girl proudly told me that she was working hard. She was so pleased with her own hard work that she barely noticed other children in her room were starting to goof off. A few weeks ago she wasn't exactly sure what it meant to work hard in school. It's only been three weeks and she's already taking pride in her work. By March they'll all be confident almost first graders and we will have to try hard to remember what the beginning of kindergarten was like and just how far they've each come.

But right now?

September is a hard month on a kindergarten teacher. If you know one give him or her a hug. They are working magic right now to prepare our youngest students to be life long learners. And to not pick their nose while doing it.

1 comment:

Sneaker Teacher said...

I totally agree. I teach half day Kinder and my students even lose their focus before the end of our short 2.5 hour day. I am looking forward to when that independence comes and a time when I don't need to review how to be a good listening on a daily basis.