Saturday, February 1, 2014

Let Them Be Little!, Please!

After the week year I have had at school, it got my mind thinking.
Photo of Wolfelicious

  My class is actually really smart and wonderful, but every year I feel their behavior gets worse!  The talking!  Oh my!  The talking!  It is NONSTOP!  Pretty much as soon as I say to stop talking, the talking begins again.
What is the deal with this?  It is not my first year!  It is not my 5th or even my 10th year of teaching!  I thought after teaching for almost 12 years that I would have my classroom management down and be in control.   I have always looked for better ways to handle my classroom.  I guess some would say I am an over achiever because I am constantly thinking about my class and what is best for them.

I have noticed this wild monkey behavior is not only coming from my class, but the whole school!

Why, is this happening?  It is only the end of January.  They shouldn't be acting like this!

Then, I realized what we are doing to the poor students!  We are throwing so much information at them that it becomes an overload!

An information overload!

They can't take it!  They need to be kids!

I try to have "fun" with my class while learning, however it is getting more difficult every year.  More and more curriculum is thrown at these poor children.  There isn't time to give them lessons on how to be a good citizens and a respectful person.  We have to get them to read and write paragraphs by the end of kindergarten.

Is that the reason all the students are acting like wild monkeys?

I don't know, but I do think it has something to do with it.

I look at my own child who is in Preschool.  He is getting 4 sight words a week!  Yes, I said 4 sight words a week!  He is really smart so I am glad they are pushing him, but when is he allowed to be a kid?  He gets in trouble at school all the time for wrestling and doing what I would consider a normal 5 year old boy behavior.  I know the 5 and 6 year old's in my classroom still would do all that stuff if they could.  Isn't that being a kid?  I know it isn't appropriate for the learning atmosphere but isn't preschool when children learn how to get a long and be good people?  I guess not any more!  They better know all their letters by the time they leave and their sounds.  If they don't, they are considered behind.

I get it that most kids are very capable of learning all their letters and sounds. My son has known both for the last couple of years.  But is this what should be taught in preschool?  Or even kindergarten?  

I don't remember learning all the stuff I have to teach now in kindergarten.  I think I turned out okay.  I get that it was years ago when I was in kindergarten, but is the curriculum now really that much better for our society?

I feel like I am in a horse race teaching everything as fast as I can so my kiddos can get to their final learning goal.  Is this how I am really supposed to teach?  What happened to slowing down and teaching it for mastery?  I am stressed when my kiddos have trouble picking something up because there is no time to stop and reteach.  What happened to really teaching?

I was asked a question last night from my sister about her son.  He is really smart.  She was concerned because he is not interested in doing homework when he comes home from preschool.  I told her some kids just aren't ready and really I don't know that any boy really enjoys doing homework.  First off, why is the poor 5 year old preschool boy getting homework?  Second off, when is he allowed to be a kid?  I told her to relax, he will be fine in kindergarten.  She was worried that he was going to be behind. 

 It just makes me so sad.  What is our country doing to these poor kids?  Is this push for smarter kids really making them smarter to live in our society?  Or are they all going to be super smart, but don't know how to interact in society?

We are cramming so much curriculum down their throats that it is ridiculous.  Do the studies show this is beneficial?  Is this the reason why the students talk nonstop because their brain are on overload?

When I went to school (Yay!  BGSU), I was taught about being developmentally appropriate.  Apparently, that is NOT what we do now.  Kids are not ready!  They NEED to be KIDS!

Please, let us go back to teaching basics and really getting the students to understand them!  Lets not have a horse race to see how much we can cram in, in 180 days.  

Lets teach the kids how to get along and function in our society!  

Lets teach then how to be respectful and polite to others!

Aren't those things just as important as reading, writing and arithmetic? 

Lets slow down and teach for mastery!

Lets be developmental appropriate!

Lets let the teachers teach!

Kindergarten, 2nd - Reading, Education -


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks! I just felt like I needed to post how I feel!

  2. I couldn't have said it any better! I think that most teachers would agree that there doesn't seem to be enough time everything that is thrown at us---or the kids for that matter! I wish we could just let kids be kids for a little longer... time is so precious and escapes us too fast!! Keep teaching and keep doing what's right for YOUR kids! You're doing great! xoxo

  3. Nicely said! I started teaching kindergarten 23 years ago and didn't teach what we have to now and those students have turned out successful. Yeah, BG! Go Falcons!!

  4. If only the people that design such curricula were listening to teachers! I also feel this way about how much we are pushing these children! Just when I think we hit the pinnacle of kindergarten expectations, they throw more at us teachers and our students. Very sad!

  5. Completely agree. Just when we think we've reached the pinnacle of kindergarten expectations, bam! that is not good enough! Here is more! very sad.

  6. Amazing! That is why you will have to fight me to take away my Free Choice center time! They need to be little! They need to play! Although it is not "academic" they are still learning SO much!

  7. I agree with everything you said! Kids don't have a chance to be kids anymore, it's all about testing and standards. All of us as teachers turned out fine before there was this big push toward testing!

    Success in Second Grade
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  8. I wish I could hug you for this. Our jobs are priceless and so our kiddos. I am all about accountability, but it is getting ridiculous.
    My Second Sense

  9. WOW! I thought I was the only one who felt like January was a precursor to the end of the world. I loved (and agree with!) everything you said...

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

  10. Shaking my head in agreement with all of what you said. Our poor babies are on overload - and I think as a whole teachers tolerate less (ie things that are just 5 year old behavior because they are KIDS!!!) because there isn't time for disruption in our crammed schedule. Ugh. Maybe someday it will change. :)

  11. And no time for fun curriculum - my time is down to 20 minutes a day that isn't structured. I try to do dun stuff - like Olympics, Thanksgiving, Christmas in other cultures, etc. but it's hard in that little bit of time. Great post!

  12. I totally agree! I still have free choice centers, but the time amount keeps shrinking. I am determined to keep it for them. They desperately need the social interaction and free play time.

  13. Amen! You are so right. They have only been alive 5 to 6 years... look what we (I) do to them. I feel as though I am always pushing them. I know they will get all of this writing and math in time. It will be easier when they are a little older, but for some reason we have to do it in Kindergarten. We'll see the outcome of this in about 6 years. I hope we are doing the right thing. Great post! Pam

    My new store for Kinders, I Love My Kinders!

  14. I feel what you feel!!!!! I couldn't have said it any better. I am not going to worry myself with rushing, as quality is FAR better than quantity (in my book)! Thank you for this reminder!!!

    Kimberlee @ 2 Fulbright Hugs

  15. This is my 19th year of teaching! My sister and I used to teach together until I moved. The district that I am in now is wonderful. We are small and our principal gives us freedom. My sister on the other who is an amazing teacher is really struggling. Her district, which is where I came from has to post standards, people come in with clipboards and check to see that they are teaching the common core, they pre assess, assess, and assess. She has 2 autistic kids, 9 ELD, 3 or Foster kids who can barely write their name, on top of the many others who did not come prepared for first grade. She follows a strict pacing guide and pretty much has been told teach reading and math and nothing else. THIS IS FIRST GRADE!!! She talks to herself on the way to school...please let me make it to recess... She cried to me on the phone the other day because her kids are struggling with the assessments and she has worked her butt off. It broke my hear!!! We always push to go 10 miles wide instead of going deep. When does it stop? We all know that standards are a good thing, but things need to be developmental and kids need to be kids! Where is the love of learning???? So glad that so many of you feel the same way!! Happy Superbowl to you all!!


  16. You have written what so many of us are thinking. We have a work day tomorrow and I will have to explain why their precious student is failing kindergarten. . . . what happened to our developmentally appropriate curriculum???? Everyone can't do it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.

  17. Wow! I think we are twins, everything you said is exactly what I feel everyday! I too am a k teacher for 12 years and I really am worried that in 20 years we look back and say what did we do to these kids. We should have a oath like doctors, "Do no harm!"

  18. I just want you to know, that as a teacher and a parent of one of your wonderful (yet talkative) lil angels. I grant you total permission to teach all of those amazing skills you desire to teach. I wish I could change it. It breaks my heart for Ashlynn and what is more scary, it pulls me into the race. I know that Ashlynn is a better citizen in her your kingdom because of you!!! Thank you for all that you do and rock on! Do you mind if I share?

  19. Sight words in pre school? That's just wrong. So is reading and writing paragraphs in K. What is wrong with people? I'm with you. Kids should be kids should be kids!