Kindergarten Teacher - Thoughts?

Updated on August 13, 2015
A.R. asks from Cheyenne, WY
31 answers

My son will start Kindergarten in a week and we just found out that his teacher has no teacher education(B.Ed. or M.Ed.) but a B.A. and some volunteer work experience. There are other KG teachers at this school, each with more than 10 years teaching experience and we feel kind of disappointed that our child did not get in any of those classes. We decided to talk to the principal about moving him in one of the other classes but I am not sure we'll work this issue out before the school starts. What would you ladies do if you were in our shoes?

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So What Happened?

Thanks everyone! I guess I am a little biased when it comes to teacher's credentials and work experience (I worked in a teacher licensing department) but I also believe new teachers are wonderful and should be given a chance! So we'll give it a try!

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answers from Austin on

Teachers have to start somewhere..... sometimes the new teachers are the ones with the most patience and innovative ideas!

A lot of great teachers come out of different certification programs, not just a traditional certification program. If the principal feels that teacher is qualified, why do you think they are not qualified to teach?

(FYI..... I am starting a new career at age 58...I will be teaching for the first time in a classroom of my own. I have worked for several years in this middle school as a para. I am certified, and my principal has complete trust in my abilities!)

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Santa Fe on

I personally would give her a try. She might be wonderful...full of energy and ideas and love for the kids! She might be a super organized person who really has their act together. She might be a talented teacher. I would not decide yet.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

I like to save my complaints for the more important ones. You haven't given the teacher a chance. You have no idea how well or horrible she will do.

I understand wanting an established teacher, but give the lady a chance to show you what she has.

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from Washington DC on

i feel sorry for up-and-coming moms. the last couple of decades of parents have rendered teaching a miserable, unrewarding profession in which they are endlessly criticized and expected to be all things to all kids, and in which issues like this (being new) are somehow viewed as Bad For My Child.
my older boy had a brand new just-graduated kindergarten teacher. she was a marvel. young, energetic, laughing, bursting with ideas and so, so excited to be in a classroom with all those littles (gods bless her.) i was beyond thrilled when my younger got her 4 years later too- the last year before she left teaching to be a SAHM. we were so lucky.
then in 2nd grade my younger got one of those 'experienced' teachers you want for your kid. she was very experienced. about 40 years worth of experience. rigid, bitter, miserable, inflexible and just putting in her time until retirement.
yeah, by all means go bug the principal about this 'problem.'
what are y'all going to do when no bright dedicated caring young people are willing to get into public education any more?

16 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbia on

My youngest had a brand new, first year teacher in 4th grade. She was allowed to work through her teaching certificate and teach at the same time under new curriculum.

She was AMAZING. She's still T's Favorite Teacher Ever.

I don't think you should be disappointed that you didn't get some burned out teacher who has been chasing kids for 10 years.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I am tuning in late here and I am glad to see that you are rethinking things.

This year will be my 15th subbing in the same school my daughter went to for K-5. The ONLY school I sub for because... I LOVE the children, LOVE the people who are in the school and LOVE to make a difference in a child's life. I do not do it for the money...My subbing is my "down time" about once a week or so when I walk away from my office of running our company with my husband and go to school. I love it. The hardest part for me is getting up and out the door by 7am when I am used to working from home and coming into my office as I please in jammies or whatever.

I see a lot of veteran teachers and new teachers yearly. Some of the veteran teachers are only hanging in there until they qualify to retire... is that what you want?? I see some new teachers going in so eager to connect and teach the children.

Example... my SIL is a teacher in rural AL and she is waiting on the day she has enough days in the system so she can quit. Do you think she is being an effective teacher? She CHOSE last year to have surgery 8 weeks before school was out and she was free in the summer to have surgery because "she was fed up with her class from hell". I feel SO bad for any child who walks into her classroom. Granted, at one time she was one of the young eager teachers.

Our elementary school is Blue Ribbon, exemplary and has numerous high award for achievements, etc. Part of that is because our principal believes dearly in this school and she puts new teachers in there who she knows will do well.

Thank you for giving this new teacher a chance! It might be the best thing you've done so far for your child's education.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Anchorage on

It is kindergarten, she will not be teaching rocket science. Everyone was new once.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

My last child had a brand new teacher, she was amazing. Everyone has to start somewhere.

Sometimes the teachers with so much experience are more burned out than the new ones who are eager and ready to take on a bunch of 5 year olds.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I would leave him with the original teacher.

Teachers are an "individual" experience based on the needs of your child, classroom make-up, administration, etc. You can't always go on the "group" opinion.

My older son's K teacher was "fabulous" and "the best" and when he got to 1st grade we were told she missed symptoms in him that set him back a year.

The most important teacher is the one at home :-).

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

I don't understand. She isn't qualified to teach? Then how is she employed?

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

It's Kindergarten.
I'd let it go.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I'm sure you realize that having a degree in Education qualifies a person mostly in classroom management, which in no way relates to the best ways to teach so children can learn. And in any case, teachers have very little autonomy as to how and what to teach anymore, so even IF a degree in Education did speak to how children learn best, it wouldn't matter anyway, because the people designing curriculum certainly don't know or care how children learn best.

If this young woman is passionate about teaching and loves kids, I would think there would be no better start to your son's formal education than in this classroom. The best teachers are the ones who foster a love of learning, and there's no degree that can prepare a teacher to do that.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

I might wait to see if this teacher is actually better than the others. I tend to think teaching is a gift and despite how many years of experience one has with it, not everyone is good at it nor should they be doing it, hence the reason I don't like tenure (for ANY job) that said..... this could actually be blessing in disguise.. sometimes when a person is at a job for long time, they are just going through the motions and aren't really passionate.. what's to say those other teachers are truly any better..
We had an English teacher at my son's school who had been there for ten years and previously worked for another 10 to 15 somewhere else. Truly he WAS the worst teacher ever. However, at my son's summer school, he had an English teacher with less credentials and teaching experience but was by far a better teacher.. so you just never can tell...
also, what IF you move your child and turns out, those other highly credentialed teachers are not worth their salt, will you then have your child moved back.. think before you strike..

5 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

First it is kindergarten but also younger inexperienced teachers tend to put more into teaching than teachers that have done it long enough to have given up with anything outside the box.

This would not even be an issue to explore if I were in your shoes.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

Is this a private school? I went to a private school, and many of my teachers lacked certification. I have to say, they were all pretty good teachers (ok, one wasn't, but she was certified).

Education classes are helpful. I learned a lot in mine. I learned some techniques, some important ways to engage a class, some common pitfalls to avoid, but for the most part they really don't prepare you to teach. That comes from experience.

It takes a lot of time and a lo of trial and error to figure out what works, what doesn't work, what didn't work this time but really could with a bit of tweaking or a different class.

It's true that new teachers lack experience. There's no way of getting around that. But it's also very, very true that new teachers are usually very enthusiastic and have a lot of energy!!!

I encourage you to give this teacher a chance. You might find that she makes some freshman mistake, but I suspect what will really jump out is how enthusiastic she is and how excited your don is to go to school each day.

It's never easy to send your baby to kindergarten, and this news isn't helping you feel better. Hang in there. I'm sure your son is going to be just fine.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

This pushed a huge button for me.

First in regards to you son, i would feel like you do. I think if my child had special needs or was not able to write their name, sing the abc's and count to 5 I would contact the principal right now and request a meeting to see what support would be given to the child, it might be none, but if pto mom's come in and work with small groups or paraprofessionals are in the room each day it might be ok. I wouldn't demand to be moved but i would make sure they knew my childs needs and my concerns for him.
if he is a typical child and has these skills to count and write, I would let it go because to me transferring after the first week would be worse in my mind than sticking it out.

I have a degree in the field of elementary ed and a minor in early childhood. It feels very very insulting to me to say anyone can teach as long as they have gone to school even for mechanical engineering as long as they coached tball and LOVE kids. If teacher education is so lacking that it is unnecessary then we have a problem. but i live in an area saturated with teachers, I try to understand that there are places that are so desperate for teachers but then i wonder what we can do to make this a viable field to get the best of the best for our kids, not someone that just decided they thought playing all day was fun.

Children are amazing and typical children can learn ALOT just by being around other people. So most kids will be fine until 3rd grade when they leave that stage of being able to so easily absorb information. not because kinder isn't important but because they are naturally interested in how to count and name things.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

I am sure she is very qualified. She was hired by the district right. Leave well enough alone. New teachers are the best. You do not have any reason to change teachers. You don't want to get off in the wrong foot before school even starts

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

Getting a brand new teacher fresh out of college can be a great experience.
She hasn't had a chance to get burnt out yet and will have lots of enthusiasm.
Every year will be a new experience for your child (and you) with what sort of teacher your child gets assigned to.
At some point or another he's going to get a teacher that's going to be difficult to get along with and sometimes you can learn a lot from a teacher like that.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Is her Bachelor's degree in education? If not, she is NOT prepared to teach young children. I find it hard to believe (or at the very least disappointing) that a school would allow a beginning teacher to have her own class rather than to team teach or assist in another classroom for a year. I would try to move my child. I would also see if there was any way to help foster better support for beginning teachers in your district.

My niece did Teach for America. It is an extremely competitive program to get into - most of her compatriots were pre law or pre business school and most had an Ivy League or equally prestigious education. However they had a week or two of training and were then set loose on poor disadvantaged children who truly needed experienced teachers. It was a horrible experience all around. She hated it, stuck out one year and then quit. Didn't hurt her at all - she went on to law school. But it wasn't right for the kids who have children teaching them with no background in education and at most 1 full year of experience (since it is a 2 year program).

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Everyone has to start somewhere.

I think there is so much burnout in Kindergarten that sh may be fresh and ready for the challenge. Don't count her out. She might be fantastic. And yes, they need to learn a lot in K, but they also need a tremendous amount of love. Give her a chance. They obviously see something in her. And be sure to ask if you can help her in any way and volunteer.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

Hang in there. And remember that a certain percentage of all the kids will have to be in this class- how many parents do you think are unsure about this teacher - or maybe even already complained to the principal? I'm sure your son will do fine. I would be a little disappointed too, but have patience and work with the teacher and I'm sure he'll have a great year.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

My son had a horrible first grade experience with a veteran teacher. It was horrible, and she could not be convinced to change her ways, her prejudices, her attitudes. She did not care. My son was convinced that he was "less than…" the kid who read like a 5th grader, and he was sure he would never read.

In second grade, he was put with a brand new teacher, fresh out of college. She had more enthusiasm and real-world common sense than the "veteran", and she put my child back together again. He was moving up in reading by November and was a happy and engaged kid.

All the coursework and pedagogical theory in the world does nothing to prepare someone for a real classroom. (I took some education classes in college and hated them; I had friends who loved them and took a lot more, then got into a student teaching situation senior year and discovered they hated it! Too late to switch majors and they were miserable!)

I'm sure this teacher has been interviewed extensively and that other candidates were passed over, and she probably had to do some model lessons as well. She's probably working on her masters. She probably has a lot of skills. What you need in kindergarten is not a ton of theory - you need someone organized and caring, who can control a bunch of kids who don't know how to read and don't know how to line up and don't know their right shoes from their left shoes. My guess is, your kid is one of the lucky ones because he will have an enthusiastic and motivated role model.

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answers from Boston on

This is not a new teacher. She is an unqualified, uncertified (according to your post) probably very well-motivated person. Teaching is an art, but like all art it doesn't just pop out of a person. It takes education and practice, study and insight.

Today's kindergarten is yesterday's first grade. This is where substantial lessons in reading and math are given.

I would have a conversation with the principal now. What qualifies this person to be regarded as a teacher? What significant supports are in place for the teacher and students? Will there be a certified professional in the classroom full time with her? Is this a practice of the school system to hire persons without credentials? Let the principal suggest if a move is appropriate for your child. And get involved if this is a practice in your system. All my best.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

So you have talked to the principal already? Wasn't sure by your post.

I agree with Mom2kck. And 2kidmama.

The best Kindergarten teachers we've had were newbies - fresh out of training and enthusiastic.

I'm sure if she is employed by the school she is qualified. I wouldn't worry about that so much.

Also - if your son starts school with her, then has to switch a few weeks in (if not yet resolved) how will that affect him? They do switch kids anyhow from time to time for class numbers - but it's something to consider.

I get where you are coming from - but it's something we experience yearly. There are always favorite teachers and also classes with friends, etc. and it doesn't always work out some years. We tend to do a lot of work at home (reading, writing, math, etc.) and it always works out ok.

Good luck :)

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answers from Los Angeles on

How did she get certified if she does not meet the requirements for certification?

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answers from Des Moines on

Check with the other parents who already joined their kids in that class room. Proceed accordingly after you receive the feedback. If you are specific to join your kid in other class room, talk to the principal and be clear. But, do not join your kid where the teaching is not that satisfied.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Santa Barbara on

I'd be upset then find a way to supplement my child's education to make sure he/she is ready for 1st grade. I doubt you will get your way (I know way too many people who complain and they never win).

Teacher should have a credential, yet not required.

I would take charge and spend a lot of time with my kid and make sure he/she can read, write letters correctly, learn to spell the 100 sight words, write to 100, add single digit numbers and such. Many kids already know this before kindergarten and experienced teachers do not expect more.

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answers from Rochester on

One of the best teachers I have ever taught with had just graduated with her BA. She was amazing! I started that year on maternity leave in a new building. It was January before I realized she was a first year teacher.

Of course it isn't true about all first year teachers, but most of them come in enthusiastic, willing to do whatever they need to do, and willing to try anything. They are not jaded or burnt out. They are fresh out of school and still in a learning mode ready to learn new things and learn from trials and errors.

Teachers with a lot of education and experience are great teachers. But I'll be honest. In the building I teach in there are some experienced teachers that I would never want my own kids to have. They are resistant to change. They have lost their flexibility, and they are some of the most negative people I know. As a colleague, I've called them out for some of the lackluster teaching I've seen because I know our kids deserve better and I know they can teach better.

Give the new teacher a chance. Her fellow teachers will mentor her and the administration will give her the support she will need. Yes, she may make mistakes, but I still make mistakes with a masters and 20+ years in education.

I have family who have kids in the Cheyenne school district. They have always had good things to say about the district and I know from my own experiences trying to get into a school district in Wyoming that they have high standards for their teachers. They wouldn't hire someone that they didn't see as a strong candidate. New hires have to meet the state certification requirements.

It will be OK.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

Give it a shot. So much of the school experience is how your kid meshes with the teacher. I have had a few teachers for my son that look great on paper, but just didn't "get" him. They were fine, but he really excelled with the teachers that connected better with him.

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answers from Appleton on

I went to Catholic school from 1st - 8th grade. One of the best teachers I ever had was a man who had only 2 yrs of college. In those days a person could teach in private school with only 2 yrs of college. This man was nice, compassionate, and smart. He knew how to teach.

He is one of my fondest memories from childhood.

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answers from Fayetteville on

Being a teacher with a M.Ed, I think it's very important. If you don't feel she is up to your standards, then request the move. Our state requires our K teachers to have teaching degrees. My sons' preschool teachers all had master's degrees.

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