Don’t Panic- Here is What You Need to Do First.
Whether you are excited or terrified- it’s going to be okay. Kindergarten is the most amazing place to teach. I know so many teachers that ended up there accidentally at first, and now they will never leave! I decided to teach Kindergarten when I was eight, and I was right- it is the best. This article will guide you to a great start to the first things you need to do to get yourself ready to teach Kindergarten.
Step 1: Know what you will be teaching.
Find your province, state or country’s Kindergarten Curriculum document. Most are available to be viewed online, and they make it tricky to get a hard copy mailed to you. But do it! You should be referring to it all year. Ours is HUGE- and has some great information, but if you are starting in days- or hours- flip to the expectations part and read through to get the gist of what they want you to report on. These are the documents that we use right now in Ontario.
Step 2: Know what you will really be teaching.
You will be teaching things that most curriculum documents forget that you need to teach. Our Ontario document actually focuses ¾ of the program on non-academic skills, which are vitally important to the development of the whole child. But with most curriculums, it is best to just accept that most of your focus at least initially will have very little to do with what we are mandated to teach. You will be teaching things like a) why we don’t lick our friends b) how to not stab your classmate with a pencil accidentally or on purpose even if he is making an annoying noise, and c) what does a quiet line actually mean. It’s a lot. And these things are really important if you want to teach any of the things you read about in your curriculum document! For more on this, read what I teach in Kindergarten the first Day including a free printable teaching checklist for the first day and first week.
Step 3: Make contact with your team.
I am so fortunate that in addition to having the loveliest Registered Early Childhood Educator (RECE) as my teaching partner in my classroom, I also work with 5 other Kindergarten teachers, and 5 other RECE’s, not to mention fantastic specialist teachers. Meet yours! Find out what has worked well at the school, areas for improvement and the culture of the Kindergarten department. Flying solo? Find out who teaches prep with you or the Grade one teacher and see what you can learn from a chat with them. Our colleagues are one of our very greatest assets. If you don’t have any colleagues, I’ll be your proxy teaching partner.
I’m so happy that you are getting to be a Kindergarten teacher, too. I hope you love it as much as I do.