Robert Fulghum wrote a book, All I Really Need to Know, I Learned in Kindergarten, in which he describes how the world would be a better place if we all followed the same basic rules we learned as children…things like sharing, being kind, cleaning up and living a balanced life of work, play and learning. When our Kindergarten children here grow up, we have no idea what jobs and careers await them. What we do know is that teamwork, collaboration and communication will be every bit as important then as now, if not more so.
Corporations would be envious of the teamwork displayed in our Kindergarten Program. No one is excluded, everyone is kind beyond measure (the teachers insist on it) and everyone works together. This afternoon, I watched a group of 4 SK’s working on a mural in the hall…sharing markers and ideas and giving each other positive feedback…..wow.
Communication will always be important – whether it is speaking, reading, writing or using the language of mathematics and number sentences. It is our belief that a strong foundation in communication skills requires direct instruction, practice and individual feedback and guidance. This is what led us to the design of our program with the low student/teacher ratios that we have here.
Our children are eager to get to work first thing in the morning when they are fresh so we go with that, using more of a tutoring style of guiding each child at his or her pace. We are able to work at that delicate balance of success and challenge that is so motivating for young learners and gives them the confidence to tackle more difficult material.
Hot lunch together provides a wonderful social opportunity with conversation, good manners and healthy food choices. The children start by selecting a rainbow of veges before serving their main course.
Daily gym after lunch gets them playing games outside or in the community hall and then they are ready to settle into the afternoon art and science based activities in different stations with different “jobs”.
The teachers design the curriculum, and the feedback from our grads, going to both public and private school, is that they slide easily into grade one with confidence and ahead of the game.
Most important to us is that the children grow to be secure in who they are and that they learn that they matter, their thoughts and opinions matter and their relationships matter. Kindness and respect rule!
This is why we have the teachers we do. They don’t miss a thing and take every opportunity to model, teach and reinforce specific ways of showing kindness and respect – to one another as well as to the teachers. Ginnie, Kim, Danielle, as well as Julia and Elisa, are so great and they know they have my permission to throw the curriculum out the window if a teachable moment presents itself where we can reinforce these core values.
If you haven’t witnessed this program, come and visit!