Real Talk. How long does it take for you to plan your kindergarten lessons? How do you make sure your planning is textbook perfect so that your littles are always actively learning something as they engage in play? How much time are you spending over-planning your kindergarten lessons?
Fun fact… I don’t.
My systems and routines – contrary to what you might think – are simple and repetitive… and I don’t micromanage my classes or stop the play to direct my children to an “important lesson” whenever they’re busy and engaged.
What I do instead is to encourage my littles to play and learn in their own way and rely on a consistent and predictable schedule so they can anticipate what’s next.
Am I too easy going?
Maybe, but it works for me, just like it works for other teachers in this kinder world who were ready to let go a little so they could stop stressing a lot.
All this has been possible because we have a strong teaching-learning routine. We have a weekly rotation of workshops, like our Writer’s Workshop, and a lot of fun and ease in our classrooms which allows students to learn as they engage in playful activities.
Now, you might wonder why I don’t feel the urge to micromanage, or, “do something” to contribute or accelerate their learning. It took me a while to answer that question for myself and overcome the (unnecessary) guilt of doing less.
Here’s what I learned when I got over that guilt:
>> I learned that more than YOU guiding your littles, it helped when you allowed your littles to guide you.
>> I learned that it’s okay for us to take the backseat while your children drive their learning forward, so that they could continue to push through the boundaries, and rely on me to guide them only if they needed.
>> I learned that my work as a kindergarten teacher often didn’t end after my work hours – I was documenting, creating my plans, offering one-on-one help, and doing a lot of undocumented tasks after classes… but I didn’t have to do that.
….And I learned that I had to overcome the guilt of doing less – because, for one, I wasn’t doing that, and two, it was in the best interests of my kids.
You don’t have to bear the pressure of being the knowledge keeper, the planner, the leader, or the micromanager. You’re not here to entertain children or make them feel like you’re the most important part of their classroom. You’re not here to perform or be the center of attention; you’re here to be a guide to your children, to encourage learning and growing… if they need it. You *facilitate* their learning and act as the guide who has their backs through thick and thin.
So, if ever you overthink taking a short break because you need to be “doing something”, know that you don’t have to. Consider this your sign. You deserve some time to breathe, or get all the other tasks you need to do done, as long as you know your children are having fun, and are learning and growing in the process!
Listen to this episode as I talk to you about how to stop over-planning your kindergarten lessons in detail.
And before you go,
Click here to get my slide deck and massive freebie from my Scholar’s Choice Webinar that would teach you how to keep your systems and routine simple!
PS. Camp Kinder registration is OPEN! Grab your ticket to the hottest event of the summer here
KW: kindergarten lessons, kindergarten teacher, barriers to learning, doing less, teaching-learning, writing program for kids, learning and growing