This is all about Questions to Ask to Teach Kindergarten and it is for you… If you are a new teacher who is about to start your career in Kindergarten, changing grades or schools into a Kindergarten class, or if you are just looking to start this upcoming school year with a fresh game plan.
Let’s go over the Top 5 Questions to Ask to Teach Kindergarten. (And most likely any other grade.)
Can I see the Curriculum Map?
Most school systems and individual schools have a scope and sequence or a curriculum map to guide and pace the year. This is a big-picture glimpse of when themes are taught. This should cover the entire school year. This guide breaks down any letter sequences, standards, and math skills taught.
You should also see when assessments are given. For example, my school gives the baseline assessments within the first 10 days of school. We also have to complete our state evals by a certain day at the beginning of May. We also break down which standards are being assessed in which nine weeks. This gives me a great short-term as well as long-term guide to pacing.
What Does the Daily Schedule Look Like?
Ask your other grade-level teachers to see their schedules. It is reassuring to get a glimpse of when computers, music, PE, or other activities take place. It helps to know when lunchtime and recess occur. We also like to see what teaching time we are left with.
I would advise you to not make an actual schedule just yet. You should wait until closer to the school year for that when EIP, IEP, and other schedules are finalized. But when you are ready, here is a look at my daily schedule last year. It mostly likely WILL change during pre-planning when I get the list of students and their services. I am usually a special ed collaborative teacher. I have been for the last 8 out of 12 years at least.
How many students can I have in my class?
This is a critical question you need to know. You must make sure each student has a seat, a cubbie, or the carpet placed accordingly. A few years ago my class limit was 20. Now it is 24. Each and every teacher had to add cubbies and a table to make room for those students. We also had to know to increase a center activity or daily 5 slots to make room for the extra students we projected to have.
How can I contribute to the team?
Everyone, even those with no experience has a new perspective and new ideas towards a grade level and team. Check out the team dynamics. Ask your teammates to give you a responsibility like a newsletter, copies, or homework. Take the duty or responsibility that no one else really wants to do. No one in my new school wants to do car rider duty. So guess who was on car rider duty the entire school year voluntarily? Yep… me. I didn’t love it, but I knew being a team player was helping out.
What are the expectations of the parents and co-workers?
Find out if the parents expect lots of parent communication or certain activities to be done each year. Find out what the grade level above you expect from your students. Also, ask if you can and should decorate outside your classroom.
Other things to ask include the following. Should you walk your students into the lunch room or leave them at the door? Some administrators love seeing technology being used by the students while others want to see lots of small group activities and differentiation. It is also good to gain a perspective on behaviors that are and are not tolerated per grade level or school. You would be shocked to learn the differences in actions and consequences from school to school.
It doesn’t hurt to look in each of their rooms for basic decor or display ideas as well as material they swear by! Compliment them away at what you like and share some tips of your own.