As your child’s kindergarten teacher I want to challenge them in every sense of the word. I also know that you as their parent and cheerleader expect that from me. You expect me to push them to know all their letters and their sounds. You expect me to get them reading and if their already reading, to get them reading really difficult books. I embrace that challenge, but please also embrace mine.
When you ask me are they challenged in your room? I will always, without hesitation nod yes. Besides how much I challenge them academically and believe me I do. I challenge them every day when they come into a classroom with 15 other bodies and they have to wait to get their needs met. Imagine yourself five years old, or six and for the past 5 or 6 years, when you needed something, it was met almost immediately, sometimes with zero communication. Now imagine going into a small room with fifteen others and having to wait for a shoe to be tied, for a band aid , for a page to be turned in Pete the Cat. The waiting is challenging to your child and I will help them with that, because it’s important. It’s not a standard but it’s essential. Because it is a challenge to one day be the all important person in the room, to the next, sharing your tiara or crown with 15 others. It’s also a challenge if your child is well behaved and reserved to be around others who have very little control. Children who throw blocks because they are angry, who stomp their feet and rip materials, children who demand attention when your child does not. It is a challenge to see the imperfections that some kids have but it is essential and it will make them grow more than decoding any kind of word.
Your child is rising to the task and taking risks in the room. Before August 28th, they didn’t even order at Applebees on their own. Now they are making minute to minute decisions, standing up for themselves and others when something doesn’t seem right. They are asserting themselves and using more empathy in a one a hour block than they have used the entire summer before they came to me.
I want you to ask questions, I want you to be supportive of your child and curious and inquisitive about the day-to-day tasks of my room, but when you ask is my child being challenged? I will tell you I fold a lot of reasons into that yes nod I give you back.