Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The 3 Ks of Kindergarten

Well... it's actually two Cs and a K. But, it's kindergarten. Everything that starts with the /k/ sound gets a K. :)

One of my favorite things about kindergarten is that as much as the world around us may change, as much as politics may change, as much as our pop culture and society may change... kindergartners pretty much stay the same.

It's one of the true beauties of teaching kindergarten.

No matter what year it is, no matter what level of education their parents may have, and no matter where in the country you teach, every kindergartner embodies a certain set of characteristics that make them innocent, wide-eyed, and irresistibly lovable (in my eyes). Although their differences may be obvious in some ways, their uncontrollable love for a surprise, their natural love for singing a familiar song, and their fascination with colors, the letters in their names, and numbers are just a few ways they are bonded together in similarity.

Because of this universal beauty, the kindergarten year is a very special time filled with many milestones. Most kindergarten classrooms around the country will have some very similar things happen -- children will learn to read, write simple sentences, and compare numbers. They will learn to express their feelings and tie their shoes. They will celebrate the 100th day of school, plant bean seeds, and set butterflies free.

There are some things you can just count on in kindergarten. Every year.

That brings me to the main point of this post -- the 3 Ks (or Cs) of Kindergarten.

This little saying is something I came up with to explain some very important kindergarten events to first-time parents. Although I started teaching kindergarten to make a difference with the kids, I have built some really incredible relationships with parents. To be honest, nowadays, I have a hard time separating my joy of working with my students from my joy of working with their parents. They just walk hand-in-hand.

Well, most first-time kindergarten parents are always worried. About pretty much everything. Over the last five years, I have gotten very good at calming concerns and having long conversations at dismissal explaining everything from how lunch works to what our daily schedule is to how their child will know what classroom to go to. I know parents are "handing over" their babies. I can't even imagine sending my first-born into a building with a near stranger and telling myself to simply trust in that person's kindness. Especially in our current society when not even schools seem safe anymore.

I get it. Sending your first little one to kindergarten can be difficult.

Over the last few years, I have developed ways to explain just exactly what kindergarten is all about. I love that poem... "Everything I ever needed to know in life, I learned in kindergarten." It's perfect.

One of my favorite things to explain to people about kindergarten is the 3 Ks of Kindergarten. If anyone reading this is a teacher... or has ever had a kindergartner... you know how true this is! So, it goes something like this:

"Kindergarten is a wild ride. Every year, there is always the 3 Ks of Kindergarten. 3 things are bound to happen to someone in every kindergarten class. Hands down. Happens every year. Someone is going to get kissed. Someone is going to learn how to cuss. And someone is going to get their hair cut. The 3 Ks (or Cs) of Kindergarten -- kissing, cussing, and cutting."


Oh.. and a funny little quote from this week...
Mrs. A: "What letter do you hear at the beginning of mitten?"
Student: "Zero?"
Mrs. A: "Okay. Let's stop there."

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