I like to think that I have a pretty good memory; and I think my husband would agree! If my memory is on point today, I don’t ever recall Kindergarten being so demanding when I was in school. Mind you, that was 28 years ago.
Kindergarten was a half day program, with developmental play opportunities and show and tell each week. I never felt “stressed” or “frustrated” with the work I was doing and NEVER remember having to be able to read books. It was such a fun learning experience.
Jump to present day K… I teach in a district with a full-day K program. We have 4 elementary schools and 8 classes in all. Each class has around 19-24 kids. Even with these numbers, we are expected to get these children (some of whom have never been in a social setting before), to read, write, add and subtract and much more.
What happened to learning how to get along, take turns, handle disappointment, learn how to paint and write your name, etc.?
I feel more stress as a teacher of 24 students to get them reading a Level D text and make sure they are writing more than one sentence with spaces and vowel sounds embedded within them. They came to me not knowing how to write numbers 1-5, yet I have to get them adding and subtracting fluently within 5.
Though my school is so supportive and we all work hard to give the best to our students, I can’t help but somehow feel like a failure when my students move on to first grade without that “title” of a “D Reader” and a student who consistently scores a 6 – 6.5 on their writing.
I love my job. I love “my” kids. Let’s stop putting so much pressure on them.