As the beginning of your child’s kindergarten school year approaches, you might wonder about behavior goals in his class. Preparing your child for the kindergarten classroom can make the difference between a child who enjoys school and a child who faces school with fear or anxiety. Classroom rules differ from teacher to teacher, but the goal is the same -- to encourage students to follow the rules willingly so that learning occurs -- according to Education.com.
Teacher to Student
Your child’s teacher will expect your kindergartener to listen to her and to treat her with respect. When she gives your child a task or directions, she will expect him to comply without a lot of argument or defiance. The teacher will understand that children are at different levels and that some things she asks might be unfamiliar to a few students. She will make allowances for students who need to build a trusting relationship and those who need extra help to learn unfamiliar skills and routines. If your child needs more than a week or two to acclimate to the classroom, you may get a call or note from the teacher asking for a parent-teacher conference.
Student to Student
Students in the classroom should treat each other with kindness, according to Big Spring Lake kindergarten teacher Julie Lee. Lee’s website says that translates into taking turns talking without interrupting, helping other students, following the rules, keeping personal and learning areas clean and engaging in peaceful behavior. Your child will have an opportunity to learn and practice those skills. If your child has behavioral issues, expect contact from the teacher, or even the principal if the behavior is serious enough.
Student and Learning
The classroom must allow all children to learn, and frequent disruptions can make it almost impossible for anyone to learn. Your child should learn and follow classroom rules such as sharing classroom resources, treating books and other materials with respect and participating in learning activities. You can help your child learn these skills by practicing them at home and reinforcing the rules if the teacher alerts you to problems your child has in class. The end goal is to teach your kindergartener to self-regulate so that the teacher doesn’t spend more time herding the kids than she does educating them, according to psychology professor emerita Deborah Leong and researcher Elena Bodrova, authors of “Developing Self-Regulation in Kindergarten” in the March 2008 edition of “Beyond the Journal.”
Parent to Teacher
Your assistance and support are invaluable to your child’s kindergarten teacher, according to Education.com. You can reinforce classroom rules and assure your child that “It is essential for you follow the teacher’s instructions,” and “No, the teacher isn’t trying to be mean to you.” Let the teacher know if you discover a problem that affects your child’s classroom behavior, such as a learning challenge, problems at home or a sensitivity to a food or other substance. Show up for parent-teacher conferences and let the teacher know that you support her efforts to create a space where every child learns and feels accepted.
Rev. Kathryn Rateliff Barr has taught birth, parenting, vaccinations and alternative medicine classes since 1994. She is a pastoral family counselor and has parented birth, step, adopted and foster children. She holds bachelor's degrees in English and history from Centenary College of Louisiana. Studies include midwifery, naturopathy and other alternative therapies.