It's hard to believe but I've only got 3 weeks left in school. I'm right in the middle of report cards, IEP's and end of the year celebrations.
At point in the year, most teachers know what grade they teaching next year and if you are just joining kindergarten, this post is for you.
I'm joining Sharing Kindergarten to offer some tips for kindergarten teacher from a kindergarten teacher.
The first tip may seem like an odd one but in kindergarten we not only get children who have never been to school before, but we also have parents that have never "let go" of their children before. Kindergarten can be a huge step for parents in placing their trust in YOU, their child's teacher. If the child has special needs, this may be an even bigger leap of faith. So my first tip to you is to also nurture your parents. Go the extra mile to reassure the parent that may be overly anxious. Don't forget, they may be new to this too.
Tip two will help you avoid problems as the year goes on. Set down the ground rules right from the get go and follow them. Let the children help you decide what should be part of the rules. You want to avoid as many behaviour issues as possible. When the children know that you will be enforcing the rules, you will be surprised at how smoothly your class will run. For special needs students, they may need explicit teaching of the rules, social stories, or modelling before they understand what is expected of them.
In kindergarten, it's important to have a routine and follow it. Special needs children thrive on structure and knowing what comes next. That doesn't mean you can't have choice, just make sure it's within a schedule. You may need to make a visual schedule with pictures they can remove when the activity is done.
This is the most important tip of all. Have Fun! Kindergarten children are so much fun and they say and do the funniest things. Enjoy every minute of them. Remember, you are their first experience with school and you set the tone for all the teachers that come after you. Set the bar high.
Check out the posts below for more great tips.