While it may seem like some kindergarten teachers must be born secret magicians in how well they can manage a classroom full of active little learners, in reality, they know precisely what they’re doing and how to achieve the results they desire.
If you’re wondering how to be a successful kindergarten teacher, you’ve come to the right place!
Here are some tips and tricks of the trade from those teachers who have successfully found their groove from years of experience, as well as through trial and error:
Set Boundaries From Day One
While it may be tempting to want to be friends with your students, the most successful teachers are those who establish clear and firm boundaries, expectations, structure, and consequences from the very beginning. It’s much more effective to do this from day one, versus attempting to establish guidelines later on.
Be Prepared to Teach Kids at all Learning Levels
It’s important to keep in mind that kids will enter kindergarten with a wide range of skills and abilities. While some kids may enter Kindergarten already knowing how to read, there will be some students who aren’t able to identify their letters yet. Successful teachers can bridge the gap.
Young children thrive on routine and they enjoy knowing what’s coming next. Use a large colorful calendar or schedule as an outline for their day. When kids know what’s going to happen throughout the day, they are more likely to cooperate and participate.
Get Their Attention
Before giving students instructions, it’s much more effective to make sure you have their full attention first. Consider using an object with sound, such as a bell and teaching the kids what it’s intended for at the beginning of the year. Whenever you ring the bell, kids will know they’re expected to stop whatever they’re doing and listen.
Give Directions one at a Time
When dealing with kindergartners, it’s best to keep directions short and simple. Give students one direction first, followed by another. For example, “First hang up your coat and then sit down at your table” Once it’s been established that they can follow more than one direction at a time, then feel free to add more to the sequence.
Sing a Song About It
Make mundane tasks more fun by making up a short and simple song during clean up or hand washing. Songs are a great way to help students remember multiple steps.
Make Sure to Move
Young kids have short attention spans and get antsy quick, so planning short lessons and activities tend to be more effective. Add in some type of movement too, such as doing some light stretches in between activities.
Don’t Forget to Laugh
Kindergartners love to laugh and be silly, so make sure and throw in some humor throughout the day to keep things fun.
Keep Your Classroom Organized
It’s hard to find a minute to yourself while teaching kindergarten, so it’s important to be able to find everything you need for an activity in a hurry, or you run the risk of losing control in your classroom. Keep your classroom neat, tidy, and organized and put labels on things to help you and your students locate items faster.
Ready to Take on Teaching?
There are few careers more rewarding than teaching, and deciding to become a kindergarten teacher is extra special because you are one of the first influences in a child’s academic life. If you’re ready to get started on a path to becoming a successful kindergarten teacher, contact Athena Career Academy to learn more about our early childhood education program.