She is ready to get ready, but I don't even want to think about summer ending yet.
Monica gives 200% teaching her kindergarten students, so once the school year starts there's basically no let up until next summer. When her kids leave her for 1st grade, they can read, write, write sentences, add, subtract, and do fractions. Monica is a great believer in the humanities and makes sure they are introduced to art and music and their own creativity. It's amazing watching their progress during the year. But, Monica sends them off with more than a solid academic and social skills start.
She goes where they are. Whether the five year old has previous pre-school experience and fully supportive parents, to seven year olds who have never been to school, to kids with parents in prison or on drugs. Somehow with 27 kids in this mixed bag, (and no teacher's aide) she manages to instill in them the self discipline they need to listen and learn. Yeah, she's tough too.
But, through her constant positive reinforcement they learn to know and want the feeling of accomplishment.
Teachers need that too, so it was wonderfully gratifying when Monica got this note from her school's principal, regarding the primary grades at her school.
".... School was recognized at the Reading First Conference in Nashville, TN for having the second highest increase of students at Benchmark Level (Reading First). Their growth was 23%, the highest in Chicago Public Schools and the second highest in the entire state of Illinois."
Wow! Jackie doing a happy dance, buttons popping off with pride for Monica and all her hard work.
But the Congrats don't stop with Moni.
Congratulations also goes to Judy, another wonderful veteran kindergarten teacher at the school, who is now teaching the children of her former students. And to the 1st, 2nd and especially the difficult 3rd grade teachers for building on Monica and Judy's foundation. And most of all, KUDOS to the kids, some who have little at home support.
When you think about kindergarten, there will be no other grade where children will learn more in one year. So thanks again Monica and Judy for sending them off with a love and respect for learning.