Sunday, September 8, 2013

Seriously. Enough with the Kindergarten Teacher Bashing

The other day I came across this blog post.  It is from 2009, so it is on the old side.  But I was still shocked when I read it.  You would think someone who claims to be a teacher would have more respect.

As long as I've been teaching I've heard the worst comments about Kindergarten and the teachers who teach it.  Here are some good ones:

A trained monkey could do it. 

Really?  A monkey?  This one is down right insulting. 

We are just glorified babysitters.

Oh, man.  Clearly you don't know what babysitters get paid these days!  If I got even just $5 per hour per kid I'd be making $900 a DAY.  A DAY.  That would be more than $160,000 a year before taxes.  I will gladly babysit 25 children if I can earn that!

It must be so easy because you don't have papers to grade.

Before I taught Kindergarten I taught 3rd grade.  So yes, I brought home stacks of papers to grade at home.  I hated it.  But now I bring home journals to grade, pumpkins to cut out, projects to pre cut.  I am certainly not lounging at home eating bonbons while my upper grade coworkers slave over papers.  

Oh and you have rest time too? Sounds like the life.  

This makes it sound like they sleep for 2 hours.  I wish.  It is 25-30 minutes of "quiet" (how quiet can 25 five year olds be? Not very).  My kids can't read.  So I don't get DEAR time like the upper grades.  And my kids tend to have accidents (which then I have to clean!!) if I don't schedule in bathroom breaks.  My kids don't go to band, or strings, or chorus.  So it isn't a vacation time for me. 

I am used to hearing teacher bashing from parents, and other non-teachers.  But when I hear it from other teachers it really makes me mad.  You KNOW how hard this job is.  But becasue Kindergarten is so fundamentally different they assume it must be EASY.

HA.

Ask any 4th grade teacher ...

How many temper tantrums they had to deal with?  Probably zero.
What about bathroom accidents?  Probably zero.
Do you have to tie their shoes?  Nope.
Wipe their noses?  Nope.
Wipe their ...... ?  Nope. 

Guess who has two thumbs and does that EVERY DAY??  This girl.

I also can't count how many times I've heard how easy my job must be.  Blocks, painting and house all day - right?

Um, yeah.  NO.

I do mini lessons, I do reading groups, I do remediation and intervention and extension. I assess every unit.  All without bubble sheets or tests because my students can't read yet!  I spend 2 whole months doing standardized testing, out of the classroom with every student.

 I teach 25 babies how to sit still, listen, follow directions, and not kill each other.  All while teaching them the content that goes above and beyond what I learned even in first grade! 

I am constantly judged.  Either parents that have unrealistic expectations about content.  I'm either too tough or too un-structured.

And lord help you if you are young.  Never start teaching K as a 1st year teacher, they will eat you alive. 

At the end of the day I KNOW I am a good teacher.  I have learned you just can't make everyone happy.  So you do your very best.  Every day.  No one could ask more. 

4 comments:

  1. Wow! I am shocked to hear that these things are being said! I admire anyone who goes into the teaching professions these days. Teachers need to be social workers as much as they need to be teachers. Children are coming from good and bad home situations and many children are so unprepared for school, or parents and society have "let the school take care of it" attitude. Which is unfair to the teachers/schools and most importantly the children.

    My heart goes out to you, for these comments are unjustified.
    PB

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  2. I am a parent and I Volunteer for 16 hrs a week 14 hrs for 1st graders and 3 hrs for my sons second grade class no pay just give my time away while still going to school and maintaining a home and I have to say I appreciate our teachers, Parents don't deal with 20 some kids Teachers do. 5 days a week. and Kindergarten and preschool in my opinion are the hardest and requires the most preparation. aside from patience required. Not to mention the daily tantrums teachers deal with yet they still find it rewarding. Parents forget how 5 year olds get the wiggles every two minutes. First graders are hard to keep quiet and focus for a few minutes so trust me it's harder for 5 year olds and should I mention recess. TEACHERS DON'T GET PAID ENOUGH. We forget that our Teachers spend over 6 hrs a day with them and on top of that they take their work home. They too have families and a home to maintain so THANK YOU for being a teacher and I can't wait until I can be a teacher too. I love Volunteering because those hrs I give away means less work for our teachers and iI value all our teachers From Pre-K to college Because teaching isn't an easy task. So thank you and thank you for all this amazing ideas, I can see the love you have for other peoples kids and if it wasn't for the love you have for your students you wouldn't love you job.

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  4. I am hearing you loud and clear. I am also an early childhood teacher who has chosen to work in long day care, and I often hear those comments. The thing that keeps me going is remembering that the first five years are the most important to their lifelong attitude towards learning (it is also the time when they are learning the most!) From what I see on your blog you must be a fabulous teacher who remembers the importance of making learning fun. You are setting the children up for a life long love of learning by what you do. Keep up the great work! (I hope you don't mind if I borrow some of your ideas!)

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