Kindergarten is a child's first experience with formal education. Since this primary year provides a foundation for success in the grades that follow, it is very important that a child is in a good kindergarten class. Looking at the quality and communication style of the teacher, the classroom atmosphere and range of daily activities can help identify whether a child's kindergarten class is a good one.
A quality kindergarten teacher, dedicated to bringing out the best in each of her students, is the key to a successful classroom. She is knowledgeable in early elementary education, and her lessons are creative and engaging. She genuinely likes and communicates well with young children. A good teacher models the behavior she tries to instill in her students, such as patience, fairness and determination. According to "The New York Times," the quality of a student's kindergarten teacher can affect his education for many years to come.
Safety and Atmosphere
In a good classroom, students feel safe and comfortable. Furniture and fixtures are at an appropriate level and size for 5- and 6-year-old children. Ideally, a kindergarten classroom has a bathroom, so students do not have to walk the school hallways alone. Bulletin boards should be decorated with pictures to reinforce concepts learned in the class, such as the alphabet, numbers and days of the week. Student work, both artistic and academic, should be displayed in the classroom.
Variety of Activities
A kindergarten day should consist of many different activities carried out in both small and large groups. This age group can work independently for short periods as well. Sessions of academic instruction in math, reading and social studies are typical, interspersed with enrichment activities such as physical education, art and technology. Recess should be a part of the daily schedule because it gives youngsters a chance to burn off energy and interact socially.
Students perform better when their teachers and parents communicate, according to the University of Illinois. In good classrooms, regular emails or newsletters are sent home to inform families about what the students are learning, whether there are volunteer needs or special events taking place, and contact information should the parents have questions or concerns. In a quality kindergarten classroom, the teacher gets in touch if she has any concerns about a student's progress or behavior.
Based in the Southeast, Sally Miles has been a freelance writer and editor for nearly a decade. She has written for "For Me" magazine and holds a master's degree in English from Columbia University.