So, the question for this week's #kinderblog challenged me. I mean, asking me to write a letter to parents of children I may teach is scary. I do it every month, but putting it out on the web is super scary for me.What if they don't like me?
As I thought about this, Paula Kluth's book called You're Going to Love this Kid came to mind. This book is about children with autism and how teachers can make learning environments that are inclusive for children with autism. It is our job, is it not? Children come to us full of ideas and energy. They also may be scared as may be their parents. So the way I see it, my first priority is to make my students feel good about school.
So, here is a sample of what I would write to a parent (remember I work in a private, parochial school):
Dear Potential Parent,
Hi there! Welcome to Kindergarten where your child will continue his/her learning journey. We will have a lot of fun this year and I look toward to getting to know your child and you.
You may wonder what kinds of things your child will do. In our room, we cover a K curriculum in Reading, Writing, Science, Social Studies, Religion, and Math. I use thematic units along with our school's curriculum to teach. I believe that children learn best when the learning is play-based and allows for time to discover things.
So, what exactly does this mean for your child? Well if you were to walk into our room, you would see your child working in large and small groups. You would see children working in centers that go with our themes and an environment filled with excited, happy, engaged children. An environment that facilities the needs and learning styles of all learners. One that welcomes all cultures and beliefs. An environment full of questions, curiosity, joy, singing, and fun.
You would also see children blogging with me and using social media to connect with other Kindergarten classes. We would work on Writing, Reading, and Social Studies by connecting globally. You would also be able to get updates on us in real - time and it's perfectly safe as only you (along with other K classes) would be able to see this.
I would also hope you would see children treating each other kindly and brainstorming ways to help others. You would hear them discuss ways to raise money for the poor and give books to others simply by reading a book on a charitable website. You would also see them help each other to solve problems and treat everyone with respect. You would see them talking about God and how He would want us to act here on Earth.
Finally, my hope would be that you would come in and help us. Stop in to meet our future architects and engineers in the Block Center, our mathematicians working in our Math Center, our scientists making new discoveries in the Science Center, our actors imagining a scene in our Dramatic Play Center, artists creating masterpieces in our Art Center, authors writing books at the Writing Center, technology lovers creating new ideas at the computers or Smartboard, singers singing songs during transitions, and so on.
Like I said before, you're going to love K. You and your child. Please feel free to get in touch with me anytime and stop by. Our door is always open.
Well, I hope this answers the blog challenge well enough. I could go on and on about what my class does, but that would take a book. :)