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Too Much Pressure in Kindergarten

Children learn best through play. “Is Kindergarten the New First Grade?” (Spring 2016) Now we have children who hate school and are stressed out. No wonder we have so many behavior issues with our younger grades and burn out by middle school. I taught for over 30 years and what we have done to our youngest learners is wrong! —Sharon

I’ve been teaching for 15 years (six in preschool, the last nine in kindergarten), and I can assure you that we are leaving many, many children behind with these shoved-down first grade expectations. While some kindergarteners are ready for it, there are many who aren’t. These poor children, through no fault of their own, are being identified, retained, labeled, pulled for “RTI” (response to instruction) groups, which shove even more reading instruction at them which they aren’t ready for. —Karen

Introverted Teachers and Burnout

It is very important that a person know himself or herself if he/she is going to join the teaching profession. “Schools Need Introverted Teachers But Avoiding Burnout a Challenge,” (Spring 2016) I’m an introvert and not even a borderline one. I just know what it takes to not become overwhelmed at school and serve my students. I’ve been teaching for 17 years. It is also important for some introverts to know that what you do after school and before school can affect you doing the day. —Sean

Teacher Autonomy Wish List

I want to be led and mentored by experienced teachers, whose goal is helping me to teach as well as I can, rather than bureaucrats obsessed with tracking only those things that are easy to track. “Teacher Autonomy Declined Over Past Decade, Data Shows,” (Spring 2016) I long for the day when half of an observation form is not about whether or not I have posted every standard that I touched on in that class that day on my board, whether or not those standards were written on the board in letters large enough to be seen from the parking lot, or whether I spent enough class time telling the students what the standards are that we are learning about. —Joe

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