Saturday, July 19, 2014

Kindergarten Teacher Truth: The First Month of School

My first grade teaching colleagues usually wear a slightly exasperated look after the first week of school, but thankfully, they've all taught long enough (and in the same hallway as our kindergarten classes) that they know better than to cast aspersions.

After all, a kindergarten teacher's first week month (quarter?) of school is full of how-to's, modeling, practicing, reminding, and reteaching when it comes to routines and rules.

Rinse, wash, repeat.

Rinse, wash, repeat.

Rinse, wash, repeat.

For.  A.  Month.  (Or longer.  Oh yes, we've all had those years.)

Don't forget: curricular goals need to be included amongst all of this introductory stuff too!

I drink a LOT of coffee during the first month of school.

I sleep the sleep of the dead every single night.

I barely speak to my children or husband over the first two weeks of school because my voice is hoarse, my throat is sore, and my cheeks are in pain from constantly smiling at the end of each school day.

I am ~on~ constantly for students and their families, which means the first month of school is not the best time to make plans with friends or family.  Yes, I become anti-social.  It's nothing personal, truly.  I love you all.  Wait... I need to plan on signing "I love you."

That's more like it.  Save.  The.  Voice.

It takes first grade teachers a week or two to get almost everyone settled.  Sure, there's that one student (or three) that don't tow the line, march straight, or remember when it's time to listen instead of time to speak, but compared to the kindergarten teachers who herd cats/chickens every single day for the first month of school and continue to coax sharing, negotiating, bravery, and safety behaviors out of students for the remainder of the year, I think they've got it easy.

Or... easier.

Which is why, every August, when encountering the exasperated expressions on first grade teachers' faces that hint at the question, "Didn't you teach them *anything*?"  I simply tell them, "you're welcome."

1 comment:

  1. Our first grade teachers always pay us the compliment that they can tell which children did Kindergarten at our school and which ones came from other schools because the kids that we taught behave better and have routines down. We always like to hear that :0)


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