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MOM4407BECKY's Photo MOM4407BECKY Posts: 5,605
11/27/12 3:36 A

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I can see from your comment it is not the grade level it is the lost time that bothers you the most. I understand. I am currently at a 5th and 6th grade campus. Out of 185 days of instruction 30 are used for assessment. That is alot of wasted time. In Kinder there is assessments also especially at the beginning and end of the year. Each district is different. This is the hard time of year. All us teachers want to teach and help the students. Like your husband and so many others have said. The other job always look better until it is ours.

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THESUBY's Photo THESUBY Posts: 615
11/25/12 9:28 A

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I got out of elementary altogether because of that. I teach high school German now, and I love it. No standardized assessments other than helping proctor other content areas.
Kindergarten is a lot of fun, and there is less testing, but you have to be aware that the pressure to teach those 5 year olds to read is enormous. Today's American Kindergarten has nothing to do with what Froebel envisioned; it is mostly academic. I come from an early childhood background, and what bothers me most is that an academic setting is not developmentally appropriate for Kindergarteners - as a matter of fact, it is not for most 1st graders, either. Kindergarten might be a better choice for you than 1st grade if it's just the testing that's bothering you, but only if you can handle the fact that the setting is not ideal for the children.

They shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
Isaiah 40:31

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LTURSS's Photo LTURSS SparkPoints: (82,495)
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10/27/12 5:06 P
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I'm in my 2nd year of kindergarten. I completely understand where you're coming from with the computerized assessments. As a teacher in a catholic school, we do things a little differently, but we do still test a lot! I spent my first half year (being hired in January) as a 4th grade teacher. I had to proctor the Terra Nova exam (but my Kinders take it too), which basically parallels the state testing program.
I didn't want anything to do with teaching kindergarten. Now that I'm in in, I absolutely love it! Not to say that teaching any grade isn't a lot of work, but K definitely keeps you SUPER busy! It's like performing on a stage ALL DAY LONG, prepping constantly, assessing ALL THE TIME. My biggest struggle is trying to find new and different ways to assess the same skill. My students have 30-some grades each trimester and it takes a long time and a whole lot of work to assess all of that.
Most of kindergarten is subjective as well so you do a lot of assessing one-on-one which becomes very time consuming.

If you're up for late nights the first year, revamping everything you've got from the last 9 years of teaching, and having lots of energy, I say go for it! I absolutely love what I'm doing now! Last year was a lot of work, but this year I finally feel settled in, even with a whole new science series and everything. I feel like I can really enjoy what I'm doing and that I have a good feel for Kindergarten now.



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LIVEDAILY's Photo LIVEDAILY Posts: 12,643
10/27/12 1:22 P

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I taught Kindergarten for 14 years (successfully I might add), and last May was told that I was going to be teaching First this year. I miss Kindergarten!! For someone who has never taught K, though, I have to tell you: it isn't easier. In fact, it's a lot harder than teaching First (but I still mss it). The kids may come to you with little or poor preparation. They may not have had any Pre-K experience, or what they did have hasn't prepared them for Kindergarten. Kindergarten kids are NEEDY. They need help with tying their shoes, blowing their noses, putting their coats on, etc. You will have to teach them how to line up, how to answer questions, how to speak, how to listen, classroom rules...and you will have to do this ALL the time. Repetition is KEY in Kindergarten. Just because you taught it once doesn't mean they'll remember what to do the next time.

There is more prep work in Kindergarten. You spend a good amount of time pre cutting things out, planning lessons, researching ideas, planning bulletin boards, center materials, etc. Every Sunday I was making a new batch of play dough!

Kindergarten is a lot of fun, though, too! I always taught thematically. I'd pick a theme, and plan all activities around that: literature, math, writing, reading, science, social studies, art, centers. Kindergarten kids learn the best by playing within their environment and manipulating objects as they learn. So, if we were learning about pumpkins, I brought real pumpkins to school!

I agree...talk to the K teachers at your school. You might be surprised to find out that there is a lot of testing in Kindergarten too. I know we had DIBELS benchmarks 3 times a year, plus progress monitoring for those kids who were low, district benchmark tests, and also Renaissance testing (done on the computer). Apparently the powers that be think the only way you can properly determine if a child has shown progress is through the use of a test.

Still want to teach K? Still have questions? I'll be happy to discuss it with you!

Montclair,New Jersey
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HDHAWK's Photo HDHAWK Posts: 22,831
10/25/12 6:13 P

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Krys, you're right. The curriculum has changed that much over the years.
I agree with everyone else. Get the perspective of the kdg. teachers, then write out the pros and cons and decide from there. Our kdg. teachers complain a lot about all the testing they have to do, although it isn't computer based.


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KRYS210's Photo KRYS210 Posts: 78,786
10/25/12 5:20 P

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I taught Kinder for years and loved it - the old 1st grade curriculum now seems to be the K standards. Talking to the teachers is a great idea! Let us know what you decide.

Krys (EST)
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NANCYPAT1's Photo NANCYPAT1 Posts: 72,440
10/25/12 5:18 P

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I too would suggest talking to the Kindergarten teachers - a friend who teaches Kindergarten complains all the time about how structured and assessment based her classes are becoming - they give up so many of the day-trips, special parties, etc. because they MUST be ready for 1st grade testing. I teach students who have MANY special needs and they expect kids who can't even hold a pencil or write the first letter of their names to test on the computer. I KNOW the skills are important but I will tell you that sometimes it gets ridiculous also.

Nancy from West Virginia - EST
With love and caring from Nancy ... wishing all of you a wonderful, blessed, and precious day.

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ILLINITEACHER52 Posts: 7,258
10/25/12 12:52 P

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Talk to the KIndergarten teachers. They have more assessments these days also, but you might enjoy the age more. I taught Kdg for one year and loved it!!! (so I am biased) Then I moved to a new state and started my special ed. pre-school career. (even preschoolers are getting more assessments these days :-(

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10/25/12 12:33 P

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I am in my 9th year of teaching...I have taught 1st grade for 5 years. My district has implemented so many computer-based assessments this year that my head is spinning. We calculated it out and I will have 20 days of lost instructional time this year due to these assessments! I did not become a teacher to be a test proctor for computer-based assessments. Can I have a minute to teach before you start assessing my kids in a different manner than they were taught? If my students were being taught on laptops all day I might feel differently. But it's like I'm teaching with paper and pencil and Hello REAL BOOKS and integrating what technology I have and then the students are being assessed on a computer...they are 6 years old!

I am seriously considering moving down to kindergarten where the teachers still have some time to teach! I love teaching and teaching reading is my reason for getting out of the bed in the morning. My husband says I am crazy and I should just ride it out and see what happens. What you think???? I just want to teach!


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