Reflections of a one-time kindergarten teacher

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Dear Editor,

I have been meaning to share this with you for a while now. Approximately 3 weeks ago, on a Wednesday, I had the opportunity to substitute for Janice Vigil. Janice has a class of 25 kindergarten students.

On this day 23 of them were in attendance. The morning began with a trip to Mountain Vista for a video presentation regarding character, which focused on self-control and good decision-making. Janice had taken care of lunch count and other early morning activities prior to leaving at 8:30 for her training workshop.

The trip to Mountain Vista went off without a hitch. I considered it a success because there were no difficulties and I did not lose any students. Upon our return to Oracle Ridge I reviewed the concept of self-control with Janice’s class of kindergartners and spelled out my expectations regarding their behavior for the day.

Surprisingly enough this actually worked. The students stayed in their seats and waited for appropriate times to ask questions. If there were any aberrations from the expected a quick reminder of what self-control was refocused their attention.

Janice had left me a very organized list of her schedule and items to accomplish. I admit we did not complete her entire list. This is partly due to the time spent focusing on the character attribute of self-control.

We also took brief breaks between her lessons once pretending to be pigs and the next time pretending to be dogs. The students quickly returned from pretending to be animals to their seats ready to continue on with the next assignment.

I must say, for a few minutes prior to heading to lunch I lost some of their attention as we were packing up book bags, Wednesday folders, etc.

As the kindergarten teachers do, I stayed with the class during lunch. The students were very mannerly during their lunchtime. For the lion’s share of the day everyone behaved beautifully. I would like to thank the students for behaving so well for their guest teacher.

I was thankful when Janice returned. Even though it was a short day I was wiped…I mean tired, beat, exhausted.

What teachers do is amazing. I have always respected the profession, but I had forgotten what it was like. I started my teaching career with fifth-grade students and over the course of my teaching I also taught third grade.

Way back in the beginning my student teaching consisted of a semester with kindergartners and a semester with first graders.

It was very good for me to return to the classroom. It reminded me of just how difficult and how important a teacher’s role is. It also reminded me of the importance of good substitute teaching professionals.

So it is with a sincere and heartfelt thanks that I commend the teachers of our district (and all teachers) for the wonderful things they do for their students. Keep up the excellent work.

 

Respectfully,

/s/Todd Kissick

Superintendent, Principal & Preschool/Childcare Director

Oracle Elementary School District #2

 

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