By Nicole Perkins
In my daughter’s Kindergarten classroom, there is a full-time helper, along with a parent and the teacher. Now, the teacher is a mother of three, so I will give her some slack, but her actions are shaping the lives of a lot of children and I’m not sure she’s providing a standard she would find acceptable for her own children.
I will only go by what I have seen first hand which now tells me a lot about why my daughter’s work has come home so sloppy. Twenty kids are separated into four groups and there are three different stations – art, reading and “jobs.” The teacher calls a group to her reading table, the helper’s art table, while the rest are left to their own devices to get through their actual “jobs,” which is where the parent comes in.
We are the ones who wander all over the classroom (because of course the groups are random), to help the kids, one at a time, on the work that really matters – how to sound out their letters and match words to their pictures or something along those lines. At all times. there are 10 kids who are all over the place, have no idea what to do, or are sitting there by themselves, struggling or waiting until the parent helper can come over to help them. And then there are the kids who are advanced, who are done right away and bored out of their minds. On top of that, every 15 minutes, the teacher claps her hands and the kids all get up and move to another activity.
There is no consistency with the thought process constantly going from one thing to another, and with a different parent each day, there’s no consistency with how they’re taught. Everyone is rushing to get things done before the teacher claps her hands and the kids are not getting any real guidance on the things that matter the most in their education. I am even more grateful than ever that I work from home and have the flexibility to go regularly!
And I’ll admit, I may be a little of a control freak and perhaps, I’m just over-sensitive about my daughter’s first forray into school, so before I go crazy looking at everything with a negative eye, does any of this sound familiar or completely different than what other kids experience in Kindergarten? I just can’t imagine this is normal because it seems like such a hectic environment for children to spend their day.
Check back in the next couple of days for some possible solutions, and any suggestions our wonderful community of moms may have, are greatly appreciated.