Originally posted on February 9, 2018, by Sharlette Cullen, Kindergarten lead teacher
Prior to joining LCA, I taught in the public school system for 18 years, in Georgia and New Jersey. While I have always loved being an elementary teacher, I often felt overwhelmed by large class sizes, extensive state-mandated testing, and mounds of daily paperwork. I moved to Louisville two years ago and serendipity, somehow, led me to become a kindergarten teacher at LCA. Here, I have found my bliss as an educator.
The nurturing environment, small class size, and extensive curriculum that LCA provides has taught me that I love teaching classical kindergarten. My students are eager and enthusiastic to learn as much as they can each and every day. Our daily routine is full of activities to encourage children to be inquisitive, creative, and active. Whether it be painting, going on a nature walk, re-enacting an explorer’s journey, or engaging in imaginative recess play, my students are active and engaged in all aspects of our kindergarten curriculum.
We are obsessed with books in our classroom. Throughout our day, we enjoy picture book, read-alouds, and Magic Tree House chapter books. We listen to books on CDs, explore biographies, savor fairy tales, examine Greek myths, and investigate as many non-fiction texts as possible. I follow the students’ interests and explore, in great detail, the chosen subjects in our curriculum that intrigue them. I am amazed at their ability to absorb new information and acquire new skills. Whenever we read and discuss a text, we model the “shared inquiry” method, encouraging each child to listen, speak, and take turns during our discussion. Their pointed questions often lead to new opportunities for learning.
Our tightly-knit classroom community allows me to foster kindness, manners, and compassion on a daily basis. With such a small class size at LCA, my kindergartners are able to feel safe to take chances and be as imaginative as possible. They encourage one another and cheer each other on. My students often cite examples of how they follow our class motto: “be the reason someone smiles today.” I am grateful for the many opportunities I have to smile at my students every day.