Yes, kindergarten teacher wears many hats every day. Being a kindergarten teacher is not just only a “mere teacher” inside the classroom but she needs to go extra miles to be able to teach and cope up in kindergarten level.
She’s not just only a “teacher” inside a classroom. Shehas so many roles need to fulfill every now and then. She is an organizer; she needs to organize what, where, when and how to teach every lesson since all lessons are hands-on learning.
She’s an instructor; she is aware of different learning style and tries to reach each learner in the way they learn best. She is a disciplinarian; dealing with small children is not that easy, it takes a lot of patience and courage to establish classroom routines, to set classroom rules. She needs to keep her classroom in order or else it will become a “Jurassic park”.
She plays as a private tutor without any compensation just to address the needs of the learner who need more and extra help beyond classroom instruction and practices.
She’s a counselor; she knows how to soothe hurt feelings, tears, adjustment and immaturity of the young children. She’s a cheerleader most of the time just to encourage young children to develop their self-esteem.
She’s a nanny inside the classroom, taking care of the young children to develop proper hygiene is not that easy especially when someone “poo” inside the classroom. And throughout the school year, she plays a role of being a mother.
Kindergarten learners don’t care what kind of teacher you are, what your educational attainment (they don’t care if you’re a masters or doctorate graduate), they don’t care if you are awardee or well-performed teacher, they don’t care how intelligent you are, BUT they all CARE how you LOVE and deal with them with a heart.
Yes, kindergarten teacher wears many hats every day.
She has a lot of profession within herself; she’s a doctor when someone is sick.
She’s a nurse when someone needs to give first aid, she’s an engineer to help children builds their own dream. She’s an architect every quarter inside her classroom to ensure the beautification, well-ventilated, well-organized and child-friendly classroom.
She’s a policewoman just to give comfort and makes sure the safety of her pupils. And most of the time… she’s an artist who wears a different mask in front of her pupils just to give the best learning she can give.
It really a heart-breaking every time we hear the words saying:
“Kinder teacher ka LANG”
“Sayang ka sa kinder, hindi mo magagamit ang pinag-aralan mo”
“Kinder LANG naman yan, puro laro lang kayo”
I just want to answer all those questions: kindergarten is not just “LANG”. Kindergarten teachers are taking some (sometimes most) children who come in literally not knowing any letters or numbers and unlocking the keys to literacy and numeracy.
It is not simply ABC’s and 123’s but rather things such as: fluently adding and subtracting within 10, reading CVC words and high-frequency words and much, much more.
In kindergarten, we kind of are the basics! The foundation of everything! The foundation pieces of future learning, paano mo maitutuwid at mahuhubog ang isang punong hindi matibay ang pundasyon sa paglipas ng panahon?.
Kinder lang yan… it just very simple teaching ABC’s.. YES! I do, we do teach them the alphabet in a fun and easiest way. But teaching ABC’s is not just teaching it just to memorize and familiarize, rather kindergarten teachers teach what those mean and how they relate to our everyday world and reading.
We need to ensure to teach them much more phonemic awareness, number sense, patterning, life skills, social skills and more to prepare them for the journey in school and life.
“Laro –laro lang naman sa kinder” Yes! We do play in kindergarten! We ensure that there is/are learning in playing. However, “all day” is a bit of a stretch, and I don’t think the term “play” is not correctly understood. When children are engaging with small and big group activities, they are NOT “just playing”.
-building social skills
-learning how to have conversations
-learning life skills and applications
-working on fine motor skills
-building self-esteem and much, much more learning..
Forget academics for a while; let’s talk more the most complicated part in the life of a kindergarten teacher.
Some things other take for granted inside the classroom (lining up, going to the bathroom, putting things away, doing the daily routine, etc) many kindergarteners have NO IDEA how to do it at the beginning of the school year!
If you think getting 25 or more kindergarten learners in a line to follow you somewhere on the first day (first month) is easy, THINK AGAIN. It needs a LOT LOT of train songs and practice session to establish such routines!.
Forget routines; let’s go to their social skills. Kindergarten is a HUGE year for learning social skills. Things such as taking turns, conversations with peers, how to handle when you don’t get your way, managing emotions.
Those things are taught and fostered each day in kindergarten and do not just “happen” in a day or in a snap of your finger. It’s NOT easy to teach. This is different than having children at home, where yes, VERY IMPORTANT. This is a whole classroom of children at once, each needing social skills support in different areas.
In other grade level, the first month of the school year or in the first day, they can teach already their lesson, but in kindergarten..NO.. it is the time where: “naghahabulan pa si teacher at si bata, mga magulang na ayaw iwan ang mga anak at mga anak na ayaw magpaiwan (separation anxiety), kapag may umiyak na isa dapat mapatahan na ni teacher or else buong klase ang mag-iiyakan, may sisigaw na umihi o dumumi sa classroom, merong nagsabunutan, may nagsuntukan, nay natapon na juice or tubig, may bully na bata, may batang kunting galaw ngangawa na…etc”.
This is how crucial and tremendous the role of a kindergarten teacher. We can MAKE OR BREAK a child.
“Sayang ang galing mo kung nasa kinder ka lang” those words made me laughed and wondered if they really fully understood what it means to be a kindergarten teacher. I/We are not just a kinder teachers who stock inside the classroom, we trained, competed in some extracurricular activities, we do some research, can perform other tasks such as clerical job, we can write and publish our books, and WE CAN DO what other grade level teachers can do.
“Hindi ka mapropromote kung nasa kinder ka lang” Promotion is another issue. But as far as my concern, FULFILLMENT at the end of the day is much more important than other matter. And TEACHING IN KINDERGARTEN makes me happy because this is me. This is not just a Profession, but it is a PASSION that needs a HEART to fulfill.
I’m writing this one not because I want to brag the hardship of being a kindergarten teacher but I want and I hope that these thoughts can provide a bit of a glimpse of what it is really mean to be a kindergarten teacher.