Need to vent - frustrated about kindergarten — The Bump
School-Aged Children

Need to vent - frustrated about kindergarten

My eldest DD is starting kindergarten this fall. We just met the teacher and she didn't ask us anything about our daughter she just gave us some logistical information about drop off, etc. The more I think about it, the more I'm bothered. I facilitate large meetings professionally and I always learn as much as I can about the participants before I design what we're going to do together so I can tailor our interactions toward them. I realize this might sound crazy if that's not how school is done. But, how hard would it be to have each parent fill out a page at the beginning of the year with some information about their child: his/her strengths, interests, aspirations, needs, habits, etc. Do your kids' teachers ever do that?

DD #1: 2012; MMC: 2014; DD #2: 2015; It's a boy! 3/31/2018

Re: Need to vent - frustrated about kindergarten

  • The kindergarten registration packet I had to fill out had a lot of questions about my DS. Not sure how closely they look at them though. I would be frustrated too :/

  • I teach 5th grade so I rely on the kids to fill out their interest but I do it every year.   It is pretty typical in upper elementary at least (never taught the littles).   Is it possible its this teacher's first year?   A lot of first year teachers are hired days before the school year.  She may not have had time.  On the flip side, I don't know most older (liek close to retiring) teachers that do it either.   Usually, they know they'll learn over time.  

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  • I would wait and see.  Over the years I've had teachers who have asked for a lot of this type of info and teachers who have wanted a fresh perspective on the kids.

    As a teacher, I can respect wanting to get to know the kids on their own terms before finding out a lot about them.  
    I teach in the upper school of a preK-12 independent school.  I happen to teach the advanced level of 9th grade English that kids only get placed in by teacher recommendation.  I have also taught 8th grade from time to time.  In years when I teach 8, I'm heavily involved in the placement of kids into my own 9A class.  I have really come to dislike knowing what they were like in 8th.  Even at that age, they change a LOT in a few months.  I try not to let this process influence me, as every kid deserves a fresh start each year.

    I would counsel you to think about what you want your daughter's teacher to know about her.  If it's stuff that A) really matters to the daily life of a kindergartner, like a medical issue, or something of that nature, or B) it's something that you think would be hard for an observant professional to suss out on her own but might be really helpful for the teacher to know, like your child had a difficult interaction with a particular kid in preschool so it might be good if those two were not seated near each other, then shoot the teacher an email.  Otherwise, trust that if your child is: shy, outgoing, sensitive, smart, not smart, great at math, inquisitive, a chatterbox, a good listener, etc., ALL that stuff will become apparent to the teacher within the first weeks of school!
    High School English teacher and mom of 2 kids:

    DD, born 9/06/00 -- 12th grade
    DS, born 8/25/04 -- 7th grade
  • My kids' teachers tend to do this at Back to School Night, once they've been in class for a week or two.
    Laura, mom of:
    James (14)
    William (13)
    Elise (11)
    Zachary (5)
    George (3) [making the blog private.  PM me if you want to subscribe]
  • My kids started a new school last year and I had questionnaires sent home for each of my girls after the school year had started. Honestly tho, I don’t find them that helpful. My 6 year old had some anxiety issues that I needed to alert her new 1st grade teacher to and I had emailed the teacher to set up meeting to discuss them in person. It wouldn’t have been effective to leave a short note about her diagnosis on the form.
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  • edited August 2018
    My oldest started Kindy this week and she came home with a questionnaire the first day and an “all about me” project to be completed at home. 
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