Kindergarten Teachers Help Shape Children’s Education Experience

Published 4:19 pm Sunday, April 3, 2022

One of the most important aspects of any community is the education opportunities available for children, which usually begins with kindergarten.

Kindergarten Teacher Rachel Burkhart has been teaching the smallest students for over two decades.

She says the most enjoyable part of her day falls during the hours when the children are first learning to read.

“We teach phonics,” Burkhart said. “About October and November, they’ve learned enough letters and sounds so they can start sounding out words. That’s the biggest thrill, when they read their first words and take their first books home and get so excited.”

Burkhart said the progress is amazing to watch, as the students take their first steps learning to read and write. The busiest part of the day is the hour that sees the students arriving at school.

“COVID has changed everything, like it has everywhere else,” Burkhart said. “They don’t go to the lunchroom for breakfast anymore, we feel it’s safer in the room because they’re more spread out. When they first arrive, we do an independent activity, something they can do by themselves while everyone is coming in and hanging their backpacks up. Then we eat breakfast in the room, and after breakfast we do out calendar time.”

Burkhart explained calendar time consists of many things, including but not limited to learning days of the week, to counting and learning the sounds that coincide with the letters of the alphabet.

After a busy morning, the children have lunch, a little outside time if the weather permits along with their other classroom activities.

Burkhart mentioned once the students arrive and get settled down and ready to work, most of the activities the students take part in every day are group activities involving the entire class interacting together.

After a long day of learning, the children are then ready to head home as the teachers prepare for the next day’s activities.