Good experience teaching kindergarteners

Published 6:41 pm Tuesday, March 19, 2019

I too substitute teach, and while I am certified as a grade 7-12 teacher, when an elementary teacher is not available, I am sometimes called for that level. One morning, the computer system which calls teachers offered me a kindergarten class for that day. I intended to reject the assignment, but accidently accepted it, and I was off to teach kindergarten.

I did not find any “new humans,” just a group of energetic 5-year olds. I was soon seated on the floor to work with a small group who were matching ABC blocks to letter sounds. When I had some difficulty getting up from the floor, problem solving skills promptly kicked in, and two offered to give me a hand and pull while another offered to get behind and push.

Throughout the day, the teachers in the classroom led the students through various age-appropriate small-group learning activities, and there was also some entire-group seat-time instruction. Some of that instruction could be described as social studies, but they were hardly memorizing the preamble to the Constitution.

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I saw enthusiastic learners, and reflected back to my first grade experience where we sat around little tables and couldn’t mummer a word without first raising our hands. What a contrast to the interaction and communication between students and teachers that I saw here. We have come a long way.

At recess, the children ran and romped and enjoyed themselves. They didn’t “eat dirt.” I

suspect there would have been some irate parents at the school the next morning if that had been allowed.

My last duty of the day was to walk a little girl to her school bus where the driver greeted her by name and welcomed her aboard. I left the school feeling that I had experienced one of the most enjoyable days I had ever had in a classroom. I am sorry that Ms. Wilson-Reddy could have not experienced the same.

As far as Bevin and Trump are concerned, anyone who knows me knows that I am no fan of either, but I have not seen their influence in any public school class I have taught in this county.

While most all educators have a problem with some aspect of the current testing system, it does give educators and the public alike some indication of the progress or lack of progress our

students are making.

Ruthann Phillips