Learning Adventures in Mrs. Pearce's Kindergarten Class
Sunday, July 18, 2010
"We worry about what a child will become tomorrow,
yet we forget that he is someone today." ~Stacia Tauscher
Two weeks from now I will report for pre-planning which means the school year fevorishly begins for me and my colleagues at Crawfordville Elementary. A four day period is packed with faculty meetings where LOTS of information is dispensed, student data is examined and diagnostic tools for the year are presented. Around these meetings precious moments are spent in the classroom setting up for Open House and planning for the first few weeks of school.
From the time I receive my new classroom roster and I see the 18-21 precious names listed, it is very easy for me to get caught up in ideals. For instance, ideally all of my students will come in on the first day with superior readiness skills and the ability to sit attentively quiet for 15-20 minutes at a time. Ideally, I will have no students with behavioral issues stemming from either fragile home situations or extreme social delays. Ideally, by the end of the school year all my students will be able to write a small paragraph and explain the differences between a rectangular prism and a sphere. Ideally, my students will show amazing progress on pupil progression standards and ALL will easily make it to 1st grade.
But this will be my 8th year of teaching primary education, so I am kind of aware of how this works. Within two hours of the beginning of the first day of the school year my ideals always change....and I have to say, for the better.
I suddenly remember what my true ideals are for teaching Kindergarten. Ideally, I will respect the diverse backgrounds of my students and use that knowledge to create a classroom family where my little ones accept each others' differences and support each others' needs. Ideally, I will celebrate the small successes of my students. Every lost tooth, every pair of new shoes, every haircut, every new friendship created. Ideally, I will recognize the developmental strengths and needs of my students and work to create a classroom where everyone is challenged to achieve at their own pace and feel successful every day. Ideally, I will create a learning environment that looks a lot like preschool at the beginning of the school year and a little more like a 1st grade classroom by the end.
And finally, the single most important ideal of all.....I will let them be little.