“They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.”
~Carl W. Buechner
My philosophy is to teach the whole child. This means that besides academics; one of the most important jobs of a kindergarten teacher is teaching the social skills children will need to become good citizens. I often joke that I am: part teacher, part social worker and part parent, and usually all at the same time! Even though there are increasingly more academic rigors placed upon educators; I still want to advance my students in every way possible –– through academics and social and emotional means –– and I want them to have fun doing it.
For me, the most important part of teaching children is caring. It all begins with caring for children and what becomes of them. They have needs and wants, strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes, and a future that I will help mold. As long as caring is there; I can be angry with them, hurt by them, exasperated and generally unhappy with them, and still teach them. I can never be indifferent to them and still be successful. When I care, they care.
Building this relationship enables my students to become much less afraid of making mistakes. Taking chances are necessary when first learning how to read or write in Kindergarten. Showing the children respect is essential for them to develop the trust they need to take those risks and to grow as learners. I believe that every child that steps across the threshold of my classroom door will become a success. I hold high expectations for each child in my classroom. I believe that if you hold high expectations for your students they will and do strive to meet them.
Every child is different. I believe that each child has unique strengths, diverse prior language learning experiences, and ideal learning styles. My instruction must be differentiated to provide enough challenge and support for all children to build on successfully and to develop positive attitudes about learning. In Kindergarten, one of my jobs is to develop the imagination and create memorable rituals, traditions, and celebrations that honor childhood. I want children to be active learners and disciplined, creative thinkers; to learn to make good choices and to work cooperatively, and to be kind and responsible. I want children to love coming to school each day.
I don’t remember much about Kindergarten myself, but I do know that I loved school and there are many things that I want my students to know. I want them to know that they can do anything. I want them to know that it’s okay to not always be successful, but you must try and work hard to do your best. I want them to know that I will always care about them. We become a part of each other, and we will always retain a little of each other. I want them to take the best parts of me with them.