As part of my California Teachers Association, Teacher Leader Project, I facilitated our first TK/K Collaboration - A time for sharing! on January 29th. We had a terrific turnout of transitional kindergarten and traditional kindergarten teachers from 13 of our 16 elementary schools. After introductions, the brainstorming began.
I asked these expert early childhood educators to break into small groups, preferably with teachers not at their own school site, and discuss:
- Concerns and challenges they are facing
- Possible solutions to those challenges
- How those solutions would benefit our youngest learners
- Class size (many classes are 32:1)
- Combination classes (TK/K and K/1)
- District Assessments (current and upcoming CCSS assessments with pre- and post-tests)
- Lack of developmentally appropriate curricula
- Lack of understanding among administrators to issues unique to kindergarten
- Lack of understanding among administrators regarding the importance of play
As I brought the session to a close, I asked my colleagues what our next step should be. There was overwhelming interest in continuing our meetings. We decided that we would like to continue as a district-wide Kindergarten PLC and meet once a month on a district planning day. Our local union president agreed to email the Assistant Superintendent of Instruction regarding this proposal. We are awaiting his decision.