Kindergarten Teacher Career Information, Salaries, Interview Tips and More.
My day as a kindergarten teacher always started at 5:10 a.m. when I’d leave home for work. I had a 20 minute commute that includes highway and interstate driving, and it’s often very foggy in the South. I’d arrive at school by 5:30, unlock the door for the day, and haul in anything I’d taken home to work on the night before.
I’m always perkiest in the mornings, so this was a great time of day for me. During the two hours before school started I spent my time planning lessons for the future and prepping materials I would need. By the end of the year the kids could do their own coloring and a lot of the prep work, but a beginning Kindergartener generally can’t use scissors much less cut anything out. So I’d do it for them.
My planning included the numerous different subjects I was teaching. I was also responsible for turning on the computers, cleaning the room, and emptying the trash. Prior to 7:30 I had to go upstairs and get my mail, communicate with any other teachers I needed to speak with, and use the restroom.
The salary for a kindergarten teacher is dismal. But I love working with children. Furthermore, the working conditions are great, along with summers off!
At 7:30 the bell would ring, and the children would come trouping in. During the next half hour I was expected to keep the children busy, take lunch money, fill out attendance reports, talk with any parents who came in as well as anyone else who needed anything, and help children who had trouble leaving their mother’s that day. After we said the Pledge of Allegiance (yes, they still do that in some schools), I’d start my first class.
y only free time each day. By the time the aides collected the children for recess and brought them back early; I had about 20 minutes free of children during the day. Most days I didn’t get to use the restroom until I was back home again around 3:30.
After recess and dealing with the resulting fights and tears, I read the children a carefully-selected story. Then it was their turn for SSR (Silent Sustained Reading). This was a time when they could choose a book from the book rack and read by themselves. We did this for about ten minutes prior to getting ready to go home.
At 2:30, we had to march the kids out the back door and around the building in case any of their parents were waiting out on the side of the building. The children who weren’t grabbed walked clear around to the front porch with me where we waited with them until the “bus” teacher showed up. If it was a high school teacher’s turn, we might be there indefinitely. If we were lucky, we got back into the building by 3:00 when it was time to go home. Back inside I’d gather up all of the things I needed to take home and work on that evening, turn off the light, lock the door, and go home to start getting prepared for the next day. Little ones are fun, and I love teaching, but it’s not a job for the faint-hearted. It’s a lot of work, and you have to answer to a lot of people.