Parents of graduating students often told us that they wished their child could stay at MLK for just one more year—for kindergarten. We listened to these requests, and we are thrilled to announce that this year, for the first time, we are offering a kindergarten classroom.
We certainly didn’t take the decision to expand our services lightly. First and foremost, we had to be sure that we had a teacher who was qualified to lead a kindergarten classroom. Fortunately, one of our preschool teachers—Miss Robin—was very well qualified for the position. Miss Robin has a bachelor’s degree in education as well as a teaching license and had even once been employed as a kindergarten teacher. To ensure that she was ready for this new task, prior to the beginning of the school year, Miss Robin spent many hours familiarizing herself with the new Indiana Academic Standards for kindergarten, interviewing other kindergarten teachers, and observing kindergarten classrooms.
With the school year now more than halfway over, we can say with confidence that things are going extraordinarily well. Miss Robin has eleven students in her classroom, and she told us that she has very much enjoyed helping them to explore more advanced skills, including (for example) knowing their parts of speech; reading sight words; counting by 2s, 5s, and 10s; weaving; understanding magnets; and learning via the classroom’s SmartBoard—an exciting new addition. However, she also explained that the Montessori Method has made the shift from preschool to kindergarten seamless for her as an educator. After all, in a Montessori classroom, each child learns at his or her own pace. Whether they are three years old or six years old, students explore materials and concepts that interest them and that are developmentally appropriate for their individual ability level.
The parental feedback we have received thus far has been overwhelmingly positive. Parents are consistently impressed with the concepts their children are learning and with their level of performance. We have also been incredibly pleased with Miss Robin’s efforts and with our kindergarten classroom. We are confident that we are helping these students build an even stronger academic, social, and emotional foundation before they move on to their next school.