I am thrilled to once again have Carol Zook, a personal friend, guest posting with me. Today she is sharing her knowledge of being a kindergarten teacher for 34 years with us so that we can best prepare our little loves for school. As she and I were discussing this post she shared, “Parents don’t realize how important it is for a child to be able toattend to his/her own needs. Knowing the alphabet and numbers may seem more important, but it’s the basics that count.”
As a mom of three, I often worry if I’m covering everything they need to know, if they will be prepared, and then worry how on earth I’m going to fit it all in. I found Carol’s list of 12 things very realistic and helpful. I am so thankful for Carol’s creativity, her kind heart, and genuine love for our young ones.
Things Your Child’s Kindergarten Teacher Wants You to Know
- The curriculum is much different from when you went to school but children develop as they always have. They sit up before they crawl, babble before they talk and are able to use large muscles before small muscles. Early skills need to be mastered first. There needs to be a firm foundation. (Want to know a critical skill for your kids? Cutting with scissors!)
- The concept of “personal space” is important. Your child should be able to walk down the hall and sit in a “story circle” without bothering others.
- It’s important for your child to be able to tie, zip, button, put on boots and take care of personal needs.
- Your child should know your full name and his or her address and telephone number. If you work, your child should know where you work.
- Learning shapes, numbers, letters and sounds will come. Celebrate improvement. All children learn, but growth comes at different rates.
- Praise good effort. The child who tries will eventually succeed.
- We both love your child and want what is best for him or her. Our viewpoints may be different, but our goals should be the same – to see that your child “goes as far” as he or she can.
- Realize that the teacher has to follow rules set by the local, state and federal education systems. There are guidelines to follow and goals to meet.
- Please understand that a teacher can’t play favorites. Every child in the class is important.
- If you have questions, please email or leave a voice mail. It’s important to stay in contact. Our class time, however, is not a good time for a conversation.
- Those parents who volunteer to do the “everyday” work in the classroom are appreciated. Everyone wants to be included on party day or on a field trip. Helping in the classroom on a “regular” day gives you an opportunity to observe your child in action. It’s beneficial even if you can volunteer only three or four times a year.
- Reading to your child and having him or her “read” to you is very important. (Check out the benefits of reading to your child at Read to Your Children.)
A good working relationship helps the child, parents, and the teacher have a great year. And those years will fly by quickly!
Carol Zook grew up in a small town with two younger brothers. She realized she loved children’s books when she took Children’s Literature in college. One of her favorite parts of the school day was reading aloud to her class. Carol is God’s child, Vaughn’s wife and was a “3 hour mom” to over 1,500 Kindergarten students. She has been published in Pockets, The Secret Place, Guardian Angel Kids ezine, Learn Every Day About Numbers and Learn Every Day About Social Studies.
Hope Carol’s insights helped you as you prepare for the big and exciting step into Kindergarten!