It used to be that Back to School Night was one of my least favorite parts about teaching. Even after so many years of teaching, I’d still get nervous. I’d find my self stuttering and saying, “um” a lot more often than I’d have liked. For some of these parents it is their first time in an elementary school classroom and this is all new for them. Last year, was one of the first times that I began feeling comfortable in front of the crowd…and believe me, its a crowd! With 23 students and at least one parent for each one, there are a lot of adults in that room. Seeing them contorting their bodies to fit in little kindergarten sized chairs is always a sight to see.
This year, I actually found myself looking forward to it once again. I had a captive audience and they seem very excited to see their children in such a busy and exciting school. I love watching them open up their children’s writing folders and try to decipher “kindergarten spelling.” Someone asked how I did it, and to be honest, I told them, I have had a lot of practice, but sometimes, even I don’t know! They all laughed as I tried to explain “subitizing” to them. A word even I had never heard of until a few years ago. (For those of you wondering, subitize is defined by Dictionary.com as
It is so much fun to teach Kindergarteners big words and let them go home and impress their families with them!
I always tell parents there are no secrets in Kindergarten. This year, I borrowed a phrase that I learned from one of the other teachers I work with. She tells the parents at Back to School Night, “I’ll believe half of what they tell me about you, if you believe half of what they tell you about me!” That got a big laugh!
Overall the night was a success. The parents seem happy. Their children are wonderful. It was a really calm and painless back to school night. One father told me that he used to teach 2nd grade and that a lot of what we were doing, was what he had done with his students! The curriculum is challenging. It is not Kindergarten from when I was young! These children will leave in June reading and writing, adding and subtracting. I stressed this but I also left them with my philosophy for Kindergartners.
This year in Kindergarten your child will read, they will write, they will learn to add and subtract – but for me, the most important thing your child can get out of Kindergarten is to learn how to socialize appropriately. They will leave here as good, kind people. Skills that they will need in order to be a successful learner.