Teaching kindergarten is honestly one of the biggest challenges I’ve encountered in my twenty-three years of living. I thought kindergarten? I love kindergarten, the children are so innocent, they have all the potential in the world to do and become anything they want. I think to myself when I see a five-year-old building an intense railroad: one day they could be an engineer, or the ones drawing pictures more talented that I could ever produce: could it be the next Picasso of the future. I thought: I was a teacher assistant in kindergarten for five years back home, kids love me, I have a bubbly and energetic personality! I thought it’d be songs, games, crafts,
I think to myself when I see a five-year-old building an intense railroad: one day they could be an engineer. Or the ones drawing pictures with more natural talent than I ever had: they could be the next Picasso. I thought to my self, ‘I was a teacher assistant in kindergarten for five years back home, kids love me, I have a bubbly and energetic personality!’
I thought teaching would be songs, games, crafts, hugs and giggles…. but HA, no. its not all butterflies and Legos.
The truth about kindergarten is: this age brings the most unpredictable attitude about EVERYTHING. The Thai kid’s exposure to the English language is almost nonexistent, in fact, they are still learning Thai. Attempting to explain directions or tasks…ha, that’s a joke, and in turn, I ended up looking like a joke.
One moment the kids are sweet little angles, giving me hugs, telling you that I’m beautiful, asking me to play with them. One minute they’re listening and perfectly reciting the words they are learning.
Then, the next day/moment/hour those same angels are running around, screaming, kicking each other, spitting. Of course, you can get a couple to calm down and focus some of their attention on the lesson of the day, but as soon as one or two starts misbehaving… it’s like dominos. In five minutes, your classroom is a zoo
I can’t even count how many times I asked my little angels questions about what they learned, and they would just repeat whatever I said, for example: “What is this?” “What is this?” “No, you tell me, is it a car?” “is it a car?” “is it?” “is it?” UGH!
Or when I am trying to be a disciplinarian and I ask the students to “stop that” “go to sleep” “close your eyes” “pick up your toys” the same thing happens. They just repeat every word I say. At least they are speaking English rather than Thai, so that’s a win? Even though they leave my head pounding.although these conversations leave
When you ask a child ‘what’s this?’ and they answer or they point outside and say, ‘it’s raining’ you are overwhelmed a sense of pride and accomplishment, my little students are LEARNING!
Things I Have Learned in Kindergarten:
- Repeat everything, everything, everything, I mean, literally, EVERYTHING (like a zillion times).
- These little kiddies have a SHORT attention span. Five minutes of golden behavior on one task is all they can manage.
- Don’t make it boring. obviously sitting for an hour reciting words, is not the way to mold young minds. Make it lively, colorful, & fun.
- THE BEST LEARNING IS WHEN THEY DONT REALIZE THEY ARE LEARNING
and the most important thing I have learned:
- You have to be silly, be goofy, act like an idiot, roll around on the floor, be dramatic