**Teacher kid pressure** - Queen of the First Grade Jungle

**Teacher kid pressure**

As most of us are transitioning out of our August to June jobs (teacher), many of us pick up our year round job full-time (Mommy).  In case you haven't been a follower long enough to know- I have two sweet angels of my own. Let me rephrase that- they are sweet angels- most of the the time.

See I have proof that they love each other!!

And then they are times when they are down right stinkers. But whose kids aren't??

Nash is 4 years old and entering his second year at Montessori. Nash is your typical first born. Usually a pleaser- rule follower-Momma's boy-sentimental.

Emmie is a new 3 year old who will be entering her first year at Montessori in the fall.  Emmie is your typical second child. Wild-opinionated-spunky-creative-constant source of entertainment.

I chose to put them in the same class next year for a few reasons. One- I love the teacher. Two- I wanted to take advantage of the morning-freshness time. Three- I wanted them to learn to be peers and not just siblings. 

As a teacher I have mixed views about keeping siblings together, but for us this just feels right (my mother-in-law tends to disagree with me but I think that is part of her job :). 

Ahem- Back to the real point of the post. I feel a lot of pressure. Like tons of pressure- for my kids to be ready for kindergarten when the time comes for that big leap.  There is an automatic label placed on teachers' kids- with-it/smart/got-it-all-together. I am guilty of the assumption myself.  I am not the only one right???  Do you all feel these pressures about your kids?

So last year I pushed Nash with reading and letters. We had always read every night, done puzzles, and all that good stuff, but I was really pushing letters on him.  He resisted and fought me on it.  After thinking about it, I realized I needed to back off. 

Now that I am they are a little bit older, we have things figured out a little better. 
I set the timer for 30 minutes at some point throughout the day and we call it "Letter Time."  Letter Time can include anywhere from alphabet puzzles to coloring sheets to songs to handwriting papers. Here is some proof-

 As a first grade teacher-I use the term "developmentally appropriate" ALL.THE.TIME.  Like almost as much as terms like "engaged" and "focused."  But I don't think I fully understood the term until it applied to my own children.  I think my kids will help me figure it out, and I will try my darndest to be patient and loving through the whole process. 

On that note- please point me in the direction of your favorite preschool and toddler sites!  And just in case you are living under a rock and haven't heard of Annie at Moffatt Girls here is a link to her site. She has fantastic ideas and resources!!
The Moffatt Girls 

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  1. Those are some cute kids!!
    Enjoy your summer!
    First Grade Blue SKies

  2. Katie, your children are adorable! You must be one proud mommy! I have a 2 year old & I do feel the same pressures that you do, especially as a teacher. One pre-K site that has a lot of helpful activities is prekinders.com. I found a lot of resources on there to use with my little one. :)
    Learning Is Something to Treasure

  3. I feel you! My oldest two are naturally gifted and learned to read without any trouble. Then came my middle child and I was stumped. He just wasn't "getting it" even though I pushed and prodded and did everything I had done with the first two. At one point last year his teacher talked about retention! I was floored and puzzled/upset/confused. Luckily we went ahead and put him in 2nd, I got him into a class where I thought he would get along well with the teacher (a male which was important as my son hasn't done well with female teachers - it may be a shyness thing where he felt he couldn't ask for help from a pretty, young teacher). anyways, not sure what the miracle was, but he is now reading above grade level and flying through math with no problems! So glad I didn't hold him back and that I backed off on everything and let his teacher figure it out - I just wasn't qualified to see him as a student and not my son/brother to two geniuses. By the way, my 4th is also gifted in the same way as his two older siblings, so it's just my middle, red-headed boy that is different. Such a hard lesson for a mama to learn! Bravo to you for figuring this out for your kids and realizing that you have to be a mama first and a teacher second sometmes!

    Jennifer @ Herding Kats In Kindergarten

  4. I had that struggle last year (and the year before) with my kindergartner. I think it's a boy thing too. He just WOULD NOT sit and read, or write, or anything... (However, he could read, which I never pushed) But his writing and fine motor skills are just awful. And I say that with love. But, I feel ya with the pressure. Especially being an early childhood teacher. BUT-like you said, that whole developmentally appropriate wasn't really "learned" till I had my own kids. Everything I learned in college all of the sudden made sense! Hopefully my second one will be a little easier than the first... time will tell! :)

    Rulin' the Roost

  5. Your kids are darling! My son attends private school where we have pre-first (a year between K and first). Being that it's private, I don't think there is so much emphasis on academics and they look at the whole child providing lots of discovery/learning through play in K. Our son will go to pre-first in the fall. Explaining this to our parents has been tough. However we feel, and have always felt, it's the right thing for him. He isn't ready (more socially than academically) for first grade nor am I ready for him to be in my classes yet either. One of my favorite preschool sites is No Time for Flashcards. I found a lot of great ideas for the summer months when my son was younger from this site:
    I enjoyed reading Preschool Playbook when my son was younger too:
    Enjoy your summer months with your little ones!

  6. Wow, does your little girl look like her mommy:) I feel your pressure to have "classroom-ready kiddos". My oldest son learns so quickly when it comes to academics, but can often be somewhat disrespectful to his peers & teachers. This floors me because that is one of my HUGEST pet peeves!! Aarrgh! I just try to model (there's another buzz word) for him all the time, rather than preach or lecture, hoping it will start to sink in. As moms, I think we all feel some pressure (teachers or no) to have children that achieve and represent us well. I am certain your children have the best support imaginable to be well-rounded, school-&-world-ready individuals! Give yourself a break:)

  7. Katie, your kids are BEAUTIFUL! Thank you SO much for the shout out! I LOVE your pictures and I LOVE this post! I think it is great how you implemented "Letter Time" at home. You are a smart Mommy:) My little Sophia has days where is a full-participant in all the "great" things that I have planned for her and their are days where she flat out tells me, "I don't want to do that" and walks away. I guess I just have to go with it:) Enjoy your summer with your sweeties.

  8. The transition from teacher to full time mommy is always a hard one for me. It defintely takes about a week or two of summer before we get into a good routine at home. I definitely agree with you that teachers have added pressure for their kids to be ready. My 4 year old was in our Pre-K program at our school this year and I really struggled at times. She very academically ready, but her emotions get the best of her at times. She can throw quite the dramatic tantrums. She'll be in full day Kindergarten at my school next year and I'm hoping it goes well ;)
    Have a great summer with your adorable children!!


  9. Your kids are ADORABLE!!! I'm not a mommy yet, but I totally understand you about the teacher-kid-pressure thing! I think about it a lot!! I am going to follow your example- teach at home, but not push- and then hopefully they will be ready. If not... it happens! Every learner is different, whether they are a teacher's kid or not!
    A Cupcake for the Teacher

  10. Hi Katie,

    Just wanted to thank you for your work on the contraction surgery. I bought it and used it with my class. It was a Huge Success! I have class of very proud doctors.

    I am new to blogging and am a follower of yours. I have only been doing this since January. I have been teaching 12 years (7 years in K and 5 Years in 2nd,)

    My blog features a new post about my lesson with the boys. I included a link to both your blog and your item from Teachers Pay Teachers.

    Check out my blog. http://kinderaffe2ndgraders.blogspot.com/

    And thank you again!


  11. Do not let that "teacher pressure" get in the way of you being Mom. You are their first teacher and doing what is best for your kids. Pressuring them when they aren't ready or having difficulty is a bad idea. I have a daughter with learning disabilities and two normal learners and it is very difficult to let the teacher part go and recognize that she isn't going to be like everyone else. For my peace of mind and hers I have to be the mom first and the teacher who is stressing over how is she ever going to past state tests second. My own children have made be a better teacher.

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