Has anyone taught K as well?

Discussion in 'First Grade' started by DrivingPigeon, Aug 28, 2009.

  1. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Aug 28, 2009

    All last year (my first year) I thought about possibly moving to first grade. My principal just said to let him know if we are ever interested in other grades, just in case the opportunity arises. Well, there might be 1 or 2 first grade spots open next year.

    I think it would be a really tough decision to make for me. I really love kindergarten. I love the material that I teach and I feel like, even after only 1 year, I have an excellent grasp on what I do. I love starting with the A guided reading books, and seeing them move all the way up to H in 3 months!

    However, in many ways I don't feel like I should be a kindergarten teacher. For example, I hate the first part of the year, when they have rest time and they are just learning their letters. I really start to enjoy the year when I can start literacy centers and guided reading in December. To me, that is when I really have fun and enjoy what I am doing. I also hate things like finger plays, nursery rhymes, and singing. My team wants to have kindergarten sing-alongs once a week, and I think I would want to be shot.

    I am terrified, though, of starting over. I lived at school last year, and I don't know if I'm ready to do that again. However, I feel like now would be the time do it, since I only have two years in. If I waited 10 years it might be more difficult to make the switch.

    If you have taught both kindergarten and first, which did you prefer?
     
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  3. Erin Elizabeth

    Erin Elizabeth Groupie

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    Aug 28, 2009

    I have only taught first, but from my experience, the beginning of the year in first is just as tough as what you're describing in K. I am stressed and frustrated until about October! We have to spend so much time with procedures and routines. Also, first graders have to learn to be so much more independent. They are on the big kid's playgoround, they eat lunch at school now, the bathrooms are down the hall instead of in the room. You have to teach them all of this!

    But to you, coming from K, it might seem like they can do so much more, since most of them come in knowing their letters and some sight and CVC words. Also, they tend to have less separation anxiety that Kinders. I only usually have one that cries for the first week.
     
  4. WannaTeach

    WannaTeach Companion

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    Aug 28, 2009

    Kinders

    As a K-2 teacher, I can tell you that I also hate the first part of kindergarten. But, I love what I teach in kindergarten and am very good at it but my first choice ever and always in teaching is second grade. I can do alot of the things I do with kinders but at a higher level. I prefer the second graders' readiness. Though, I must say one year I had 3 kindergartners reading Charlotte's Web. That was awsome. I loved that year. I say go with what you feel. If you change your mind, you may be able to move back if you decide it is not what you thought. Many teachers do this. Shouldn't be a problem.
    Best of luck!:)
     
  5. myKroom

    myKroom Habitué

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    I just started teaching 1st grade this year after 3 years of K. I LOVE IT!!! Our first day of classes was Wednesday. When I looked over at lunch and saw the new Kindergarteners crawling on and under the tables I immediately realized how much less stress I was under on that first day! It's soooo nice not to have to be the first one to teach them how to walk in a line, sit quietly, etc.

    I am looking most forward to the academics of 1st grade. I was getting really upset with Kindergarten because so many things are being pushed onto these little guys and they really aren't all ready for it! It's so hard to keep up! The stress of trying to mix the social skills (that I KNOW they are ready for) with the academics (that the state tells me they NEED to know but aren't ready for) was too much, so I made decision to move up!!

    Two days into school and I am LOVING the change!!! I can't wait to start reading groups, spelling tests, math, etc. They are very eager to start and so am I!!

    I would say that if you love the second part of K then you would probably definitely love 1st!
     
  6. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Enthusiast

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    I just got through teaching my first week of first grade. I taught kinder last year and was the behavior teacher my first year. Yes there are some big difference with SOME of the first graders compared to the kindergartners that I taught, but with some it's not that big of a difference. I do have to say that for the most part they know routines of school and it hasn't taken me nearly as long to get some of the rules mastered. On the other hand we are still working and will be working on some I am sure for the entire year. I moved to new a district where the expectations of kinder are considerably lower than my old school so my first graders are at about where my kinders from my old district where at at mid year. (only a handful can write me a sentence) At this point if I had a choice between kinder and first I would stay put.
     
  7. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Aug 29, 2009

    I agree...I like the higher academics because I like to teach it, but it is a little stressful when they aren't ready. For the most part, they do pretty well with whatever I give them, but there are some kids who cry and that's really hard.
     
  8. KinderBelle

    KinderBelle Rookie

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    Aug 31, 2009

    I taught K for two years, and this year I'm teaching first! I LOVE IT!! I don't think I ever want to teach K again! I see my old team struggling with their new ones, and I'm thankful every time that I'm not down there anymore. :)
     
  9. Rebel1

    Rebel1 Connoisseur

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    Aug 31, 2009

    Make the move NOW!
    You'd be a lot more relaxed because the children can do more by themselves.
    Rebel1
     
  10. missamie

    missamie Rookie

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    After 6 years of teaching K and LOVING IT - I totally identify myself as a K teacher, I was asked (told) to move up to 1st. I team teach with a previous Montissori teacher that had only ever taught 3-5 year olds and 10 of our 23 students were my kinders from last year and about 4 were hers - her school closed and they came to our school. After the initial shock, I'm finding that I love it! It really fun to loop as well. I'm hoping my principal will consider letting the current k teacher and I each loop K -1 in a 2 year rotation.

    It's great to see the fruits of my labor as my kids are totally ready for 1st grade! It's so cool to see what they can accomplish! Wow! We started off the year with some pretty high expectations, we started right off the bat with rubrics for our read it! Draw it! solve it! as well as the journal writing and they are meeting/exceeding the expectations! It's really fun!

    Warning! So far IT"S A LOT MORE WORK THAN KINDERGARTEN - at least for me, but it's really fun!
     
  11. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Enthusiast

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    I agree with Missamie it whole lot more work in first grade.
     
  12. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    Sep 30, 2009

    If you hate nursery rhymes and singing I would say aim for second or third grade instead of first. In first there still is a lot of that type of stuff. Also there are still children who are still in the process of learning their letters which you said you don't like also. In second they are a lot more socially skillful, they are all more able to write and read. They still are very endearing and aim to please adults.
     
  13. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Oct 1, 2009

    It's not that I don't like the learning letters part of K. I just prefer things like guided reading groups. At my school, kindergartners enter knowing almost all of their letters already. By the end of last year, all 21 of my students could recognize all 52 letters, and 20 out of 21 knew all letter sounds. They leave kindergarten reading at a level C or higher (except for a few, who receive services). I think 1st would be a perfect fit! I student taught in 3rd grade and I like K more.

    As for 1st being more work, that would be good! I'm already kind of bored with kindergarten. It's nice not staying at work until 9 each night, but the content is so basic that I want more.

    Thanks for your advice, everyone!
     

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