General Question

xMissMorganx's avatar

What's the difference between teaching Kindergarden and teaching First Grade? How do you choose?

Asked by xMissMorganx (191points) March 31st, 2011

I’m in college to get my degree to teach K-3. At this point in my college experience I am deciding on what grade I want to teach. It’s a very important step in being a teacher for me at least. I was wondering what the difference between teaching Kindergarden and teaching First Grade is and which one is better to teach. :) Please respond, it’ll help me out a lot thank you !

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6 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

There is no better or worse. You need to spend some time in the classrooms of each grade that is covered in your degree. There is the curriculum and the maturity of the kids…both can vary widely, not just between grades but within the grade itself at that age.

I have a very good friend who has been teaching second grade in a NYC public school for years. This fall, his principal switched him to kindergarten. He has talked about both grades at length. He needs more energy for maintenance of kindergarteners…bathrooms, hand washing, manners, rest period, etc and slightly less for academics.

However, kindergarteners arrive being able to read and second graders occasionally wet their pants.

In theory, your degree should give you the flexibility to teach all four levels. It is also fun for the teacher to have a slightly different experience from time to time..that relieves the boredom.

YoBob's avatar

It all boils down to personal preference and what you want to teach.

In kindergarten more of the learning takes place in directed games and educational play time. In first grade, while the activities still lean heavily towards fun and games, the framework becomes a bit more formal.

My wife is a pre-school kindergarten teacher and has carved out a sort of unique niche by introducing science in very fun ways to the kindergartners so that when they start doing formal science in higher grades, in their minds it’s fun rather than a big scary thing. IMHO, the world needs a whole lot more kindergarten teachers like her!

gorillapaws's avatar

First graders eat less paste.

Seaofclouds's avatar

I personally would look at the school system of where I’m teaching. Some schools have half day kindergarten, while others have full day. Personally, I’d prefer the idea of teaching the same group of children all day, every day, so if it was a half day Kindergarten system, I’d probably go with 1st grade. If the Kindergarten program was full day, I’d probably go with Kindergarten just because I liked seeing all the things my son did in Kindergarten and I would want to do those things with my own students (if I was teaching).

MrItty's avatar

From what I remember, Kindegarden was daycare. First grade was school. I don’t remember actually being taught anything in Kindegarden. The “teachers” were there to keep control of the kids, get them used to the concept of going to school every day, not to actually instruct. First grade teachers actually taught.

So which of them do you want to do more?

SpatzieLover's avatar

@MrItty It’s no longer like daycare. Kindergarteners count by 2’s, 5s and sometimes multiply now. There are no longer naps in 5K

I’d go with 1st grade, but be willing to do either. All of them are formative years. If you appreciate young children, you’d do well in any of them.

That said, my first grade teacher was one of my most memorable teachers.

What are the curriculum differences in the school district you’ll teach in? How do the grades differ?

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