I think I figured out why my second graders suck at lining up, sharing, raising their hands, talking quietly, taking turns, using scissors, and keeping their hands to themselves. It’s because they no longer teach those skills in kindergarten.
I ate lunch today with one of the kindergarten teachers and she was telling me about how her students are learning division. Division! Like, as in math!
She said she’ll give them a pile of counting cubes and several circles and the students have to divide the cubes among the circles so each circle has the same number of cubes. She’s even teaching them about remainders!
My kids can’t divide. We only started division. I don’t know what this kindergarten teacher is doing, but it needs to stop. Kindergarten is supposed to be learning how to be a student. This is the grade where they learn to play nice with their peers, and learn to raise their hands, and line up and master the procedures so when they go to first grade they can function as a class.
Nope. Apparently there isn’t even play time in kindergarten anymore. There’s routine and procedures, but it’s all academic.
My students are terrible human beings. They don’t respect authority of each other. I have one student who has started to smash other people’s lunches. He likes to steal their juice boxes and smash them on the ground, or take a bag of chips and just smash it. He makes a mess and he wastes food and he hurts the feelings of the students who were planning on eating their lunch.
It’s out of hand and I really think if kids were whipped into shape in kindergarten I wouldn’t have so much trouble now. We think we’re helping our kids by following academic standards, but the fact is there are skills that kids need to learn before those standards can even be addressed.