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Jon Sie
 
 
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Jon Sie
 
 
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New to kindergarten
Old 01-26-2018, 10:49 PM
 
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Hi,
I hope someone can help. I've been offered a long term sub position in an integrated kindergarten classroom, but I don't have any real experience in this age group. Personal background, I am a new teacher, I have taught 1 year in 4th grade, and 6 months long term sub in 4/5 grade.
The classroom teacher left in Nov, and the long term sub in the class now is burnt out, hence why I'm being hired. I observed the classroom and noticed not a lot of procedures, or discipline.
Long story short, my question is, what do I do. I don't really know what a kindergarten classroom should look like. Can any experienced teachers give me some tips, or point me in the right direction. I want to succeed in this role because these kids deserve better, and this could lead to a full time position for me come the fall.

Thank you


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Kindergarten
Old 01-27-2018, 02:47 AM
 
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I think Kindergarten is the most challenging elementary school grade to teach. The children have lots of energy and short attention spans, the curriculum is often developmentally inappropriate, and the academic expectations are huge.

Try to find out why the classroom teacher and longterm sub left. That is a big red flag. I would ask the principal for more information.

Last edited by travelingfar; 01-27-2018 at 04:57 AM..
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kindergarten
Old 01-27-2018, 04:05 AM
 
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Quick questions is this the only kindergarten in the building? Are there other kindergartens in the district? I'm thinking it might be helpful to observe another kindergarten class for a day. Noting the procedures and community. Watching another teacher use the curriculum.
I taught first all but 2 years and I know the students needed to know the expectations and thrived on routines. I liked to keep an attractive but simple decor and materials stored orderly.
Curious why the the 1st teacher left? The children have had a lot of changes but you four good months to make a difference.
There is a Kindergarten and K-2 specific boards here on PT that might give you some ideas too.
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Big red flag
Old 01-27-2018, 05:56 AM
 
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As a retired teacher who only taught K for 34 years I see big red flags. If 2 teachers have come and gone this is not a good sign. Maybe you can do as PP said and observe another K classroom or at least talk to the other K teachers in the building, although they may not reveal the whole story. Ask them questions about support from administration in discipline problems. Read between the lines in what they say or don't say.
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Concern
Old 01-27-2018, 06:41 AM
 
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I would be concerned that two teachers have left already - that is not a good sign... could you ask to observe the class a day or two before you start... they should let you to get to know the kids...


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Old 01-27-2018, 07:13 AM
 
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I'd take it as a challenge: I can do this! I'll show them!

Routines are absolutely crucial in K. You have to explicitly teach every single tiny thing. Lining up, sitting in group area, getting crayons out, you name it. Until you have that in place, no learning will happen. I recommend you search the Kindergarten board for very specific advice. It's there.

Best luck to you.
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Old 01-27-2018, 07:27 AM
 
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This is my first year in K and I have relied on Facebook groups. TPT, and some Pinterest. On TPT I used Tara West's KinderSurvival for the first week and it goes through introducing a lot of routines and teaching procedures. I also LOVE Mr. Greg on Kindergarten Smorgasbord (Facebook & blog). Little Minds at Work is Tara West's facebook page/blog. I can give you more people to follow but those are my absolute favorite.
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Kinder
Old 01-27-2018, 07:43 AM
 
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I agree with discovering why other two left. Sounds like the class REALLY needs structure. Also agree with visiting another kinder room.

Kinder is their first introduction to school. They need a lot of routine teaching, understanding rules, play time (you can build it into curriculum).

They can't focus for more than 10 minutes. They talk about crazy stuff and it's hysterical at times. You need a lot of energy because you are making a lot of decisions on the fly and you have to keep up with them.

I taught K for 9 years and loved it. But, as I aged I had less energy and started to get cranky at unnecessary times.

Finally, my first year teaching I shared a kinder room with another teacher. She taught morning class, I taught in afternoon. We were each other's aid. She had moved down after 20 years in 3rd. She never looked back.
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Old 01-27-2018, 11:08 AM
 
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I LOVE teaching kindergarten!!
every year i spend at least a week just teaching routine at the beginning, very little actual “work” unless it has to do with a routine (ie how we put our papers away).
in kindergarten you have to teach EVERYTHING-
they need to be taught how to line up, get a tissue, put away the crayons, ask for help, sit in a chair. walk in the hall, put their back pack away, and everything inbetween.
i do daily five, and math centers, and try to keep kids busy all day. no down time.down time =behaviors. we also do a lot of brain breaks, dancing, and movement to learn new concepts.
I hope there is someone you can observe to learn the ropes a bit. that would help.
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Old 01-28-2018, 01:52 PM
 
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First, bless you for taking on this challenge. And it will be a challenge!

I would go into it as if it were the very first day of school. They need to be taught all routines and procedures, and they need to be reminded of them every day for a few weeks. The idea of observing another class is wonderful if you can, but if not you need to come up with some type of daily schedule and discipline procedures that you can start from your first day.

Talk to the current sub about their current schedule, then tweak it to fit your needs. Honestly, although small group work is crucial I would start with whole group lessons until you have a good feel for what they can handle. We step slowly into small group work in the fall and although they are usually good about it now I wouldn't start with a new group.

Kinder is wonderful, especially at this time of year, but until your classroom functions well you have to be "on" every single minute. (OK - you are still "on" once it is functioning but not at the same level.) Don't worry so much about the curriculum - they will catch up. Spend more time getting to know them and establishing your control.

Good luck! Those babies will be lucky to have you.


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