If parents enter your room during class, what will they see? They should see a very active class engaged in learning activities, monitored constantly by a roving, observant, and helpful teacher.
They will also need to see a teacher that allows students to be active, but at the same time maintain a disciplined and well run class for 5 and 6 year-olds. Unlike upper grades, kindergarteners should be allowed to talk and interact. Running, pushing and other child behaviors will be stopped and dealt with appropriately for the age.
Kindergarteners should have their own desk or tables for working.
Kindergarten teachers will have students walk, push in chairs, clean up, share, etc. in an orderly manner. An excellent kindergarten teacher will not need to shout constantly to remind his or her students of appropriate behavior. Seldom should a kindergarten teacher ever raise a voice, especially in anger.
Singing songs, music, reciting poems, marching, and clapping hands is a terrific way of focusing and reinforcing kindergartener behavior as a group. A good kindergarten teacher will implement all of these throughout the day.
Every child in the class must be comfortable and have their needs acknowledged and met by the teacher. This is the first real-time school setting for these kids.
Kindergarten teachers must be able to teach skills needed to begin going to grade school full time. They will not teach them all at once, but as the year progresses, they will slowly incorporate needed behaviors and skills.
An excellent kindergarten teacher will instill a love and enjoyment of school.
Great kindergarten teachers know that parents' help is a must. Any kindergarten class should welcome parents at most any time.
Kindergarten teachers may think they don't need to report to parents as often as upper grades. But that is a big misconception. Kindergarteners probably need more parental notice than any other grade. You want parents to know what to do and how to help you.
Kindergarten teachers must know the curriculum and what skills each child should have before first grade. Times have changed. Each state is different, but goals of writing and reading simple sentences, along with very basic math. Knowing what adding and subtracting mean, and working will small numbers. A great kindergarten teacher will know each students current level, and concentrate of techniques for improving them. Small groups are perfect for grouping kindergarteners together with similar skills.
Remember, above all, a great kindergarten teacher will have a variety of real learning centers and activities that actively engage their students in a nurturing environment.