How can I learn all about kindergarten???

Discussion in 'Kindergarten' started by kellyr, Nov 29, 2012.

  1. kellyr

    kellyr Rookie

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    Nov 29, 2012

    Hello!

    I am a first year teacher. I am currently teaching a 7th grade technology course, and coaching 2 sports. I work very long hours with the coaching, usually about 12 hours a day! I can't complain though because I am completely loving it :)

    However, I've always considered teaching kindergarten, but I've been too scared! I felt that middle school would be an easier place for me to start in the teaching profession. But now, I am ready to start learning as much as I possibly can about kindergarten!! :D I've been looking online to find resources that will give me sort of a "kindergarten teaching for dummies" feel. I want to know everything!

    Can anyone suggest a place for me to start learning about this from a blank slate? It seems like there is so much to learn that its difficult to find a good starting point.

    :help:

    -Kelly
     
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  3. Securis

    Securis Cohort

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    Nov 29, 2012

    In a kindergarten class. There is no substitute for real experiences.

    I taught art to Kindergarteners for 1 year, not much experience at all really. I followed my curriculum, I planned, I tried different strategies, etc. I did okay. They had fun and I'm sure we came away with some knowledge and art skills. Still I feel I have no idea how to approach kindergartners. I think when I encounter this age group I become deer in headlights.
     
  4. starbucks

    starbucks Comrade

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    Nov 29, 2012

    I realize that you may not be able to spend time in a K room because you are currently teaching during the day, but it truely is the best way to learn. Some areas now require that you have an early childhood degree to teach K, so you will want to check out your area's requirements.

    If you can't observe and spend time in a K room due to your current jobs, you can find alot on the internet and even on Youtube. Look up "Guided Reading" because that is what most schools are doing these days. Also look up the term "Literacy Centers." Literacy centers are what many schools and teachers use during the guided reading block. Writing (often referred to as Writers Workshop) is also a big focus in K.
     
  5. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Dec 1, 2012

    I would look at teaching a summer program to younger students or spending some time observing in a summer program. This would give you some experience with the age group.

    If you haven't, I would look into reading research...maybe a few classes in reading instruction.
     
  6. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Dec 1, 2012

    There are also tons of Kinder blogs out there. When you read one they usually have a list of blogs they follow and you can find more. Many write stories about daily activities.
     
  7. kellyr

    kellyr Rookie

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    Dec 3, 2012

    Thank you for the advice! I'm looking up the information that you suggested online. I'm also just about to search for summer programs in my area, to see if there is anything I can do to get some experience.

    I have another question.... Since I have 2 weeks off for Christmas break, and my daughter goes to a daycare (she is 3), do you think that volunteering to assist with 3 and 4 year olds at my daughters daycare woud be worthwhile? If I do that, would an elementary principal even care that I spent a bit of time in a pre-k setting??
     
  8. starbucks

    starbucks Comrade

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    Dec 3, 2012

    Any child related experiences will help you to get a better understanding of little kids. That being said, daycare is very different from regular kindergarten. I honestly don't think most principals would care if you volunteered for a week or 2 at a daycare (at least the principals that I have worked for wouldn't have cared).

    Your best bet to get hired as a kindergarten teacher is to be visible in the elementary school where you want to get hired or to have something on your resume to set you apart from other candidates (such as having a early childhood degree, being the lead teacher at a summer camp, working at an after school tutoring program etc...) At my school many of our teachers first took aides jobs to get themselves in the door. Once the principal saw what a great job they did as an aide they recommended them for the next teacher opening.

    It is usually very difficult to get the exact grade level you want. If I were you, I would try to get hired at any early elementary grade level (k-3). Then when a K position opens up you can try to transfer into kindergarten. Don't limit yourself to just applying for kindergarten positions. Good Luck!
     
  9. kellyr

    kellyr Rookie

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    Dec 4, 2012

    I kinda figured a principal wouldn't care too much about that. There are 2 elementary schools in particular that I'm interested in, so I'm going to look into both of those. How do classroom aides work? Are they there full time, and is the pay similar to a teacher or a lot less? I'm a single mother so I can't afford to take much of a pay cut, plus I'm receiving coaching stipends right now. I LOVE coaching, but I want more time with my daughter so I'm ok with letting go of the coaching and the extra money that comes with it.
     
  10. starbucks

    starbucks Comrade

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    Dec 4, 2012

    Not all schools have K aides, but some do. Some are full time K aides and others divide up their time between several grade levels or classrooms. I have one aide for about 30 minutes in the morning to help with guided reading and then in the afternoon she does small group tutoring of my lowest kids for about 25 minutes. The rest of day she is assigned to other classrooms and duties.

    Unfortunately most aides do not get paid well. The aides in our building are paid an hourly rate (teachers are salaried) and do not get healthcare. Other school districts, however, pay better and offer some benefits.

    Since you probably can't afford to take an aide's job, you may want to see if your local elementary schools have summer school programs in their buildings that you could teach at in the summer.

    Also, do you currently coach at the school district where you want to teach Kindergarten? If not, you may want to see if they have any coaching openings. Coaching in your desired school district may help get your name in the mix. Just a thought!
     
  11. kellyr

    kellyr Rookie

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    Dec 5, 2012

    I started researching how much the aides around here get paid, and you're right...it sucks :-(

    I'm definitely going to look into the summer programs. I would even volunteer, I'll do anything just to get a foot in the door.

    I currently teach/coach in a different district than the one that I want to get to. I want to get into the Northside ISD in my town (it's the district I grew up in),and it's the 4th largest district in Texas. I suppose I could look into middle school openings for what I currently teach (technology) and coaching bball/vball. Do you think that if I took a job at a middle school in a new district, that it would be easy to move to Kindergarten from there down the road? How often do districts tend to let teachers switch grades like that?

    I'm starting graduation school for an Early Childhood Education degree in January. My bachelors was in Accounting, lol, so it was completely unrelated. :whistle:
     
  12. starbucks

    starbucks Comrade

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    Dec 5, 2012

    I really don't know if teaching at a middle school would help you get in the door. I teach in an extremely small public school district in Pennyslvania where we only have 1 elementary school and a combination middle/high school. We only graduate about 60 kids in an entire class each year!!! Therefore, everyone knows everybody. I am not really sure how these big districts handle moving from one buiding to another.

    Since you haven't even started you EC degree yet you have some time. I am sure in the process of earning your degree you will be out and about in local elementary schools observing and doing projects. Try to make the most of those experiences and make good contacts. The fact that you have experience in technology will actually help you. Even at the kindergarten level the kids are exposed to and expected to use technology. Your current teaching experience with technology will be a plus.
     
  13. myKroom

    myKroom Habitué

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    Dec 5, 2012

    Honestly...just jump on in!!! I had a chance to volunteer in K while in HS which was the best experience. Try to get into some K classes here and there if possible. I'm not sure what size school you are in, but could you do some collaborative projects with your 7th graders and the K kids? Your kids could create some tech projects for the kids (books, games, etc.) and then the kids could try them out. These little guys LOVE seeing the "big kids". Summer jobs with young kiddos are good. Talk to your P about some summer tutoring opportunities or camps you could get into to help you get familiar with the little ones.
     
  14. kellyr

    kellyr Rookie

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    Dec 6, 2012

    I'm scared to let the principal at my middle school know that I want to teach kindergarten... Since I coach 2 sports and teach technology, that means she might have to hire more than just one person to replace me, or else another teacher here will have to coach those 2 sports. I'm nervous! When teachers make a grade switch like this, do they usually let their P know?? Well, in my case it might be a tiny bit more complicated too because I also want to switch to the district by my house :whistle:

    The idea of having my 7th graders help out at an elementary school in this area sounds so good!!! We have an elementary school directly across the street from us, so we could literally walk there! I taught my students earlier this year how to make a math game in excel, and the funny thing is that we used elementary level math, since my focus was on them learning the formatting skills for Excel. I could have them make a better one, now that they know what they are doing. It was a little game where you have a simple multiplication problem (which I could switch to basic addition, 1+1, 1+2, etc.), and you have to type the correct answer in the right spot to reveal a segment of a picture. If you answer them all correctly, you get to see the surprise picture, which could be anything.

    Sorry...I'm starting to type way too much because I'm excited about this idea you gave me! I teach a semester class, so in 2 weeks we will leave for xmas break, and in January I will have all new kids. This is something I will probably do with my next semester class. Although.....I might have time in the next 2 weeks....


    Thank you!!! :thumb::thanks:
     
  15. myKroom

    myKroom Habitué

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    Dec 6, 2012

    Maybe talk to the K teachers across the street and see if there is a program or website they would like your kids to teach the K kids about too. That may be a good place for your kids to start building relationships with the little ones (and you as well). Maybe do something once per month and build on things as you go!

    If you bring up the idea of partnering with a younger grade to your P it would allow you to go about it covertly (so to speak) then they don't have to know your ulterior motives!
     
  16. kellyr

    kellyr Rookie

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    Dec 7, 2012

    I love this idea! I sent one of the VPs an email asking about this. I thought the same thing, that it would be a shady little way for me to get into the K classrooms :lol: :thumb:

    Shadyness aside, it will be a good experience for my 7th graders also. :hugs:
     

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