Monday, January 11, 2010

Adventures in K: The Beginning of Walnut's Educational Journey

Bob went to Catholic school. I went to public school AND I am a public school teacher. So, when the idea of Walnut going to Kindergarten entered my mind, I was torn. I had heard some "not so good things" about the K teacher at the neighborhood school. I am also not happy that our school district does not offer full day K unless children need remediation. Walnut has been in preschool for three years (basically) and is ready to move on to bigger and better things. He recognizes sight words. He has already mastered CAPITAL letter writing and is working on lowercase letters. He has begun addition. He's ready and prepared for kindergarten! With that, we have a Catholic school very close by that has good programs. However, I teach near another Catholic school that I know produces very well prepared students. We have officially entered the world of the unknown: PREPARING FOR KINDERGARTEN.

When I first began teaching, I noticed that several students were extremely well prepared for secondary and even post-secondary education. These students were known as the 'weezers.' They were friends and remain friends still today. One thing that I found interesting was that a few of the parents of these students were teachers in our public school district. When I decided to venture into the world of Catholic school I emailed them for advice. One mother/teacher couldn't rave enough about the education and foundation that her daughter received. Networking is so important!

With that, we decided that we wanted to take a look at St. L  in. We discussed our idea with Walnut and went to the Open House. Luckily, our tour guide was Mr. K, the school principal. He was most helpful and the Student Council liasons prepared very informative speeches for prospective students and their parents. We were impressed with the facilities-especially the new computer and science labs, Spanish beginning in K, PE twice a week, the art studio, Accelerated Reader program AND TWO TEACHERS IN EACH CLASS FOR KINDERGARTEN AND FIRST GRADE. The kindergarteners go to the computer lab once a week and beginning in second grade students have SMART boards in their rooms. Each room is equipped with several computers for every day use. I appreciate the dress code of uniforms, too. It levels the playing field and students recognize the importance of rules and regulations. We were so pleased with all of the educational aspects of the school. On the religious side, we were happy that religion was taught every day and students attended mass every Friday. Attaining sacraments as a class is another benefit. One Student Council liason said it best, "At St. L we are a family."

Walnut was/is so very excited. It was a bittersweet day for Bob and me but we were quickly smiling as Walnut talked about his "new school" over lunch. I look forward to this educational journey and can't wait to see Andrew thrive at this "new school."

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