This article in the Washington Post made me so sad! A kindergarten teacher quit after years of joyous teaching because of the unreasonable demands being made upon her and her students.
Seneca Academy was founded on the belief that educational programs need to pay attention to the developmental stages and needs of children. We pay close attention to the cognitive, physical, social and emotional levels of each class and build our programming to ensure that students will be successful. We set high achievement standards for each of our students, but ones that are attainable. This is one of the reasons we don’t see the outrageous behavior at Seneca Academy that is described in the article.
Peek into our kindergarten class and you will see students actively engaged in meaningful work (reading, writing, art projects, building, listening, planning, presenting, discussing, etc.) that enables them to gain important and foundational knowledge, while practicing thinking and problem solving skills. While there are 2 teachers in the classroom, students are often doing independent or small group work. There is rarely “mis-behavior,” as all children know what is expected of them, and they work to meet expectations. Their work is displayed proudly around the room, and demonstrates a high level of conceptual knowledge and ability.
And 9 times out of 10, you’ll see the kindergarten teachers smiling. 🙂