Saturday, January 20th was the kindergarten fair at South Seattle Community College. Doing PR isn’t necessarily my favorite thing BUT this fair was different. I felt so connected to the families that I spoke to and each time I met someone interested in our program, I would tell them about our class and often felt choked up. I was able to talk about my kids and our days together. As I spoke and felt the pride of our work, our school, our classroom and our relationships with each other, I couldn’t think of any place that has more respect and love for kids. How lucky are we to get to spend our days together.
We have a ratio of 10 to 1 (or possibly 18 to 2 for next year.) Prospective parents were literally shocked to hear this as all they have heard from everyone else is 25 to 1 or 30 to 1. I think, how could I possibly know my kids if I had over twice as many. How could I spend 20 minutes reading with one student or helping someone write a story they are needing to get on paper in that moment. I spend so much of my time helping our group negotiate in a healthy and constructive way (because this is what kids are really needing help with.) If I had 25 or 30 students I could see where negotiation may fly right out the window – there would never be time for the type of discovery and relationship building that happens I our class.
I came away from Saturday feeling like the most blessed teacher alive. I also felt that my students are also the most blessed kids alive. They are learning to love learning; they are discovering what academically challenges them and what makes their heart race. I talked with many parents who’s children have struggled and been labeled and I just wanted to cry. How can you be “the bad kid” or not be “reading well enough” or already be “behind” when you are in kindergarten. It makes me physically sick.
All kids learn at a different pace, with different styles and interests and even though there are certain materials that we must cover, it can be done in a way that is exciting and motivational. I hope that kids leave kindergarten, first and second grade (and beyond) with the passion to learn more, not the thought that they already hate school. Because, believe it or not, school can be tons of fun. Just ask the K-2 class at The Community School of West Seattle where the kids cry on snow days because the roads are too slick to make it to school.
Join us for our open house dates; Tuesday January 30th at 6:30 pm and February 10th at 9:30 am.
Peace and Love