Guest Blogger Teacher Confidential: As a lifelong T.K. (Teacher's Kid), I was raised to regard all teachers with a respect bordering on reverence -- then I became one. Don't get me wrong, many dedicated, self-sacrificing educators deserve the admiration, but I was shocked by how many lazy, selfish, permanent children the education system attracts.
It's no surprise that having holidays off, school days ending at 3 PM and unencumbered summer months appeals to slackers -- but low salary, long hours grading papers, and extracurricular duties tend to deter the truly lazy to graveyard shifts at the local 7/11. However, a crafty few have discovered a loophole -- the kindergarten classroom.
First grade teachers are never surprised when a discipline case comes from "Miss X's Kindergarten" for good reason. With simple lesson plans, no homework to correct, and very little assessment testing to evaluate their students' progress, many kindergarten teachers treat their job like a cakewalk, and your kids suffer. Believe me, I've substituted for enough kindergarten teachers to know you should beware -- and which types you should be wary of.
Beware These Kindergarten Teachers:
Perpetual Peter Pan -- Between Sesame Street and Baby Einstein, many kindergarteners come into the classroom already knowing their ABC's, so the Peter Pan teacher spends their time playing with your kids instead of educating them. While a certain amount of organized play is important to develop your youngster's socialization skills, all-day play does nothing to prepare your new student for the structured days of first grade.
Queen Bee -- Ever wonder what happened to those vapid, self-centered, clique-obsessed prom queens after high school? If they couldn't let go of being the most popular girl in school, they became kindergarten teachers. The unconditional adoration from a classroom full of bright, shining faces is a powerful aphrodisiac. Unfortunately, these chicks run their classrooms like they ran their cliques. They play favorites, mock misfits, and are more focused on fulfilling their own self-esteem than nurturing your child.
Disinterested Delegator -- Most schools are desperate for volunteers, but some have such fantastic parental involvement, certain kindergarten teachers find it very easy to take advantage. While they sit at their desks freeing up their weekend by lesson-planning during the school day, or worse, wasting time playing on the Internet when they should be teaching, volunteers are left alone to fumble through on their own -- and the classroom becomes nothing more than a glorified babysitting service.
Military Mary Poppins -- Just because a student studies to become a middle-grade math teacher doesn't mean a position teaching that subject is available when the time comes, which results in educators stuck in classrooms they're unprepared for. Nowhere is this more evident than in the kindergarten classrooms of teachers untrained in Early Childhood Education. Frustrated with dozens of rugrats unfamiliar with school routines, these teachers opt for a hyper-disciplined, militant management style that often terrifies instead of teaches. Beware these über-strict kindergarten teachers, as they can destroy your child's first educational experience and scar your child for life.
Which type teaches your kid? Share your comments/horror stories below!