The school I went to visit was Public School 69. It was my little brothers elementary school. The reason I chose the school, was because I remember seeing him happy every time he came home from kindergarten. Every day he would come home and have a different project he did in class to show off. The outside of the school looked like a regular public school, but inside Miss Suzy’s* (not her real name) classroom was bright, warm, and inviting. My visitation was in the morning, right when the children began school at 8:00am. When I walked inside, the class room was baby blue with all kinds of art projects on the walls.
Miss Suzy welcomed me very kindly, and discussed with me, her srtudents and what they have been learning. You can not help but think about your own kindergarten expierences when going to visit a class. Comparing your teacher to a new teacher and how things are done differently. Observations of a kindergarten classroom. Section A Walking into Miss Suzy’s classroom everything was noticeably organized and put together. Right away I knew where every toy, book or art supply was stored. Each section of the room has a different set of materials. One section has all the arts and crafts.
Such as crayons, scissors, glue, paintbrushes and more. They were all stored separately and labeled in their own bins making it easy for the children to find. Another part of the room has Lego’s, puzzles, and blocks also stored in their own bins. A big section of the room was for dramatic play. It was a little kitchen for the children to play in. There was a sink, oven, microwave, refrigerator, and wooden cabinets. On the side of the kitchen, there was a coat rack with all different kinds of costumes hanging. For example a pilot, princess, doctor and many more.
The classroom is decorated with children’s original artwork, their own writing with invented spelling, and dictated stories (Morrison, 2003 p. 23) The first thing I noticed walking in Miss Suzy’s classroom, was all the projects done by the children, covering every inch of the walls. The project that stood out most for me was one part of the wall, the children had done a art project following the life cycle of a butterfly. They drew how a caterpillar turned into a butterfly when it was time. On top of the library, the children had painted the world in all different kinds of colors, saying ” save the world”.
Another section of the room by the window, they had planted flowers in individual little pots. They all seemed excited watching the flowers grow little by little, each and everyday wondering how their little garden will turn out. The classroom library in my eyes, I thought was a bit too small and needed to be bigger. It was a cabinet with four shelves. The library contained books such as Dr. Suess collection, It’s not easy being a bunny, Party time with blue, What a day it was at school, and a few more. The books seemed appropriate for their age group, but there were not too many choices to choose from.
Section B For the hour that I visited the kindergarten class, the children would walk inside. sign their name on the attendance sheet, and had free play for 15 minutes. When play time was over, Miss Suzy would choose a student to ring a bell,informing the class that play time was over and it was time to clean up. After free play, it was circle time. During circle time. Miss Suzy had a daily routine she did with the children. -Sang “Hello kindergarten friends”. -Sang the days of the week and months of the year. -Sang about the colors of the rainbow. Alphabet song, forward and backwards. -Sound out each letter and gave an example of it. (A is for Apple). -Miss Suzy would choose a student to look out the window and predict the weather. The student would draw it on the weather chart, along with the day and time. When their daily routine was over, every week they focused on a certain topic. The topic of the week was pizza, last week it was community help. Miss Suzy and the children spoke about how pizza’s are made and what kind of toppings go on it. I learned the day before my visit, Miss Suzy threw a pizza party for the children.
The day of my visit they were going to make their own individual pizzas (I did not get to view that part of the day). I noticed that during circle time, two children seemed uninterested had wandered off. Miss Suzy did not do anything about it, she just let them be. I thought that was wrong of her because the two children were not being involved. The children could of already known what they were speaking about. If that was the case she should of given them some work to do. When circle time was over, Miss Suzy asked each child which part of the room they wanted to play in.
Students chose dramatic play, arts and crafts, reading, and playing on the computer. Miss Suzy walked around each group asking them questions, expanding their imaginations. Morrison states “that teachers work with gingival children, small groups” (2003, p. 232). Watching Miss Suzy, you can see she really enjoys what she does. She never once ignored a student who went up to her. She seemed genuily interested when the children shared stories with her. She always welcomed them with a hug when walking into the room in the morning to begin their day, and the children would come in running to hug her. Section C
When the children walked into the classroom, they all seemed excited and eager to start their day. Miss Suzy greeted each student with respect and a smile on her face. Every child seemed to know where everything was stored. Each of them grabbed what they wanted to play with, sat down and began their day. The children seemed very friendly towards each other. A few of them would jump from table to table conversing with one another about their pizza drawings. They were all showing each other what kind of toppings they like on their pizzas. Miss Suzy walked up to each student, asking about their drawings.
They all seemed excited whenever she came around. A few of them would even speak to her about their personal lives. For example, one student began telling Miss Suzy how her father took her to the zoo and she saw may different kinds of butterflies. She connected what she learned when she did the butterfly project to real life. It was very refreshing seeing a child excited about what she had learned. Reflection, Section A For the short amount of time that I visited, I really enjoyed Miss Suzy’s classroom. I saw how the parents and teacher knew each other on a very comfortable level.
When dropping their children off, Miss Suzy would spend a few moments conversing with the parents. After that, she would play with the children , jumping from group to group making sure no one was left out. What was new to me, was watching Miss Suzy be so involved with the children, engaging with them on a personal level. I remember in my kindergarten class, my teacher would always spend a significant amount of time with certain children, Watching Miss Suzy not leaving any one out was very different for me. I would feel very comfortable letting my child be in Miss Suzy’s class.
My reasons are, she connected with her students on a very personal level. She took a few minutes to speak to parents. Which I think is very important, because I know I would like to have peace of mind leaving my child in the hands of someone else. I really enjoyed how she spent a week on a certain topic and I wish I was their to witness what they learned about community help. The only thing I did not like, was when she let the two children wander off during circle time. She should of done something about it. They could fall behind on their school work or better yet they already knew the work and she should of given them advanced work.
Section B Teachers have the very important responsibility of shaping the lives of young children. With this responsibility comes great pride and joy. All teachers should strive for what can be considered to be a “good teacher. ” A good teacher can be defined as someone who always pushes students to want to do their best while at the same time trying to make their learning expierence a positive one. A positive or negative influence from a teacher early on in life can have a great effect on the life of a child. Kindergarten teachers must be very creative with their teaching styles.
Not every child learns the same way, nor are they interested in the same things. It must be challenging to have 20 students at the age of 6, trying to have their cooperaton. Workstations are a good way to encourage different types of learning. By allowing children a chance to choose which activities they want to participate in, children are taking control of their own education. Children are always learning and sometimes do not even know it. Many Children do not have the luxury of being treated as good as my parents treated me at home. I had a childhood filled with learning with my parents to guide me. Many hildren do not get the luxury of such attention. It breaks my heart to not see a child succeed to their full potentional. Through teaching I feel I could give children the guidance and attention they do not receive at home. A quote by Charles Platt captures this ability teachers possess. “Compassionate teachers fill a void left by working parents who aren’t able to devote enough attention to their children. Teachers don’t just teach; they can be vital personalities who help young people to mature, to understand the world and to understand themselves. A good education consists of much more than useful facts and marketable skills. “