What questions to ask potential Kindergarten teachers - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 05-21-2007, 06:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am going to have a meeting with the kindergarten teachers as the school dd will (probably) be attending next year.

What questions would you ask them?

Mom of a 7 yr old, 4 yr old, and 1 yr old. Wow. How did that happen?
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#2 of 13 Old 05-22-2007, 02:32 AM
 
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By yourself? What do you want to know? Are you curious about curriculum? How the day is scheduled? Food? I guess I'd think about what my purpose is for meeting them and my questions would come from there.
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#3 of 13 Old 05-22-2007, 02:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It will probably be all of us as dh wants to come too.

I am just worried because she's never been alone with people we don't know before. I want to know what their expectations are for her, how they handle discipline, how they handle sensitive children, etc

I've got a list of questions but I want to know what others would ask.

Mom of a 7 yr old, 4 yr old, and 1 yr old. Wow. How did that happen?
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#4 of 13 Old 05-22-2007, 02:16 PM
 
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How will my daughter be treated like an individual?
How will you handle a situation in which my daughter wants to call me?
How do you feel about me observing the class throughout the year?
What kinds of things do you do to ensure safety in and outside the school? (thinking recess)

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#5 of 13 Old 05-22-2007, 04:16 PM
 
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Do you have children and if so what are their genders and age? Major difference if teachers do not have chldren and gender is huge also...a teacher who has never had a male child will treat your male child differently...just from expierence...we are unschooling right now...but ds had several teachers who were not capable of handling boys....they way they need to be handled..if the child is bored..running around outside...etc..doing jumping jacks rather than sending them to time out..that sort of thing...

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#6 of 13 Old 05-23-2007, 02:46 AM
 
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Do you have children and if so what are their genders and age? Major difference if teachers do not have chldren and gender is huge also...a teacher who has never had a male child will treat your male child differently...
I think those are inappropriate questions to ask a teacher. While I agree with your theory as a sweeping generalization while acknowledging that there are certainly those who are an exception, I don't think it's any of your business. This is a person's paid position and that person has no reason to delve into his/her personal business with you. I mean you in a general way, not you personally...but my ds' teacher has no boys and she is hands-down the most exceptional teacher I've seen in my 13 years in education. So it's not always an appropriate indicator. His kindy teacher was excellent with him too. Also no boys.

Megan, when I asked by yourself? I meant as in, no other mothers?
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#7 of 13 Old 05-23-2007, 02:53 AM
 
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I think a good question would be to ask what will happen if your child is more advanced then the rest of the class. Will the child be enriched or set to do the same things? Also, on the other side, what will happen if a child is below level? How much play time do they have?
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#8 of 13 Old 05-23-2007, 03:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Inappropriate? I think that I deserve to know some things about the person with whom I'm intrusting my child.

Mom of a 7 yr old, 4 yr old, and 1 yr old. Wow. How did that happen?
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#9 of 13 Old 05-23-2007, 03:31 AM
 
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True but still inappropriate and stereotyping. I totally understand your nervousness but remember the teacher is 50% of the meeting, too. You'll need to work together all year. Hopefully, she's a professional with lots of experience with children and parents and the curriculum.

eta: Instead you could tell them; ie. you have an incredibly wonderful boy and would she tell you how she handles energy in the classroom, etc.
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#10 of 13 Old 05-23-2007, 11:39 PM
 
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Just lurking. We are going to the "intro to Kindergarten" meeting with all of the other parents and the kindy teachers next week.

One biggie I thought of is "how are conflicts between students handled?" because my nephew had *major* behavior issues, and nothing was said until March.
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#11 of 13 Old 05-24-2007, 01:01 AM
 
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Inappropriate? I think that I deserve to know some things about the person with whom I'm intrusting my child.
Yes. You absolutely have the right to hear her credentials status, her philosophy of teaching, her teaching methods, her philosophy of discipline, all the things that pertain to her direct performance within the school setting. You have no right to ask her about her personal life. Even an employer is not allowed to ask such a question and you are not her employer. I agree though with a pp who points out that there is a dynamic. You have a responsibility to be as respectful of the teacher as you expect the teacher to behave toward you and your child. I know you aren't intending to be disrespectful and I don't mean to imply that you are. I'm trying to point out that it will almost certainly be seen as offensive in nature, and even if the teacher is a good sport about it, it's not particularly diplomatic or conducive to setting an open tone.
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#12 of 13 Old 05-24-2007, 01:49 AM
 
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Well said.
I'm a Mom & a kindergarten teacher
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#13 of 13 Old 05-24-2007, 09:48 AM
 
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This thread is just what I needed. We have an info session with all of the Moms, kids, and teachers on Friday for Preschool.

If anybody can think of anything that you'd ask differently re: Preschool vs. Kindergarten, please let me know One thing that I wonder about are meals. Do the preschool students eat with all of the other elementary school students?? Who helps them make their food choices or is no guidance given? (It's a public preschool.)

Oh... also this is NYC (Universal PreK), and when I met with them a few months ago, they said that they were sure my son would get a place because they need native English speaking students at this level. So most of my sons classmates will probably not speak English--but will speak Chinese, Russian, Ukranian, Spanish, and Arabic. Does this bring up any additional concerns that you would ask about?? He doesn't have any language issues...i's very verbal... speaks in complete sentences and goes on and on... knows his ABCs, numbers, etc... but I'm wondering if there are any things I should watch out for? (I'd think it's cool if he could learn a little bit of some languages from his classmates, but I think the goal of the school is for my son to influence them not vice-versa.)

Mom to DS(8), DS(6), DD(4), and DS(1).  "Kids do as well as they can."

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