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What To Ask Your Child's Kindergarten Teacher

Preschools and Kindergartens

As your child makes the transition from preschool to kindergarten, you may wish to schedule a meeting with his or her kindergarten teacher. By observing the classroom and asking the right questions of the kindergarten teacher, you can assure yourself that your child’s educational experience will meet his or her needs and your expectations. When you sit down for your face-to-face with your child’s kindergarten teacher, here are some questions you should consider asking:

“How large do you expect the class to be?”

Most experts agree that the optimal size for a class is 18-20 students for every one kindergarten teacher. If your child’s class is going to run much larger than that, find out from the kindergarten teacher if aides or volunteers will be present in the classroom, and for which portions of the day.

“How do you discipline your students?”

Will your child’s kindergarten teacher take away recess, place unruly children in time-out, or assign them extra work? Finding out the answer to this question will help you discover any philosophical differences you may have with the kindergarten teacher (or the school district as a whole). It will also help you be supportive of the kindergarten teacher should your child require discipline during the school year.

“What is your daily classroom schedule?”

Find out how much instruction time and free time there will be during the course of a typical day, and if snacks will be provided or if you’ll need to send some along with your child. Ask the kindergarten teacher for specifics on what your child will be doing each day to make sure that the schedule is suitable to your child’s learning needs.

“What do you think is the primary purpose of kindergarten?”

The way your child’s kindergarten teacher answers this question will give you an idea of what your child will be learning over the course of the school year. Some teachers may believe kindergarten is supposed to help a child develop socially, while others may feel there should be an emphasis on problem solving, literacy, or learning acceptable behaviors. A good kindergarten teacher should be able to balance social development with academic learning.

“What safety measures does the school take?”

Depending on your neighborhood, you may have cause to be worried about your child’s safety at school. Find out how children are supervised at recess, and if they’re ever left unattended in the classroom. You should also make sure there are steps in place to ensure that your child makes it from the bus to the classroom, and vice versa. Knowing that the school has safety policies in place should ease your mind while your child is in class.

Most teachers will understand your anxiety and be more than willing to lay your concerns to rest by answering your questions. By taking the opportunity to meet with your child’s teacher and ask these questions, you’ll be ensuring that you and the kindergarten teacher are on the same page and are working together to further your child’s academic and social development.

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