unbelieveable

Standard

Anyone who has been following my blog for any length of time knows i abhor worksheets for preschoolers.  That’s not to say that there isn’t some developmentally appropriate papers that can be done – but those certainly do not include worksheets!

So one morning last week I was talking to 2 of my co-workers and this was thier brief conversation:

Teacher A:  “Oh, I almost forgot to ask, did you give Teacher C those worksheets she wanted?”

Teacher B:  “Yes, I almost forgot but I gave them to her right before I left yesterday.”

Teacher A:  “Oh good, because that parent has been bugging Teacher C for a few days now telling her she needs to send papers home with her daughter!”

Teacher B:  “Well, that’s good, it will give the child something to do and it never hurts to start young.”

Me:  “Why would Teacher C be sending home worksheets when she teaches 2 year olds?!”

Teacher A:  “Because she has a few kids who are really bright and are getting bored and in trouble so thier parents asked for paperwork for them.”

Me:  “So, you’re telling me instead of educating her parents on what is developmentally appropriate for thier children and giving them ideas of activities they could be doing with thier children she is just going to give in to their demands and send home worksheets?!  They are 2 for heaven sakes!  They can’t even hold a crayon correctly – much less do a worksheet!  I teach 4 year olds and I have not sent 1 worksheet home all year and, as young and needy as they are, they are still picking up on what I’m trying to teach!  I don’t get this at all!”

Teachers A and B stared at me as if I had lost my mind.  They were literally speechless.  After a minute or two of silence they made a feeble attempt to defend worksheets at Teacher C – they soon realized I wasn’t going to change my mind.  It bothers me how easily teachers (and parents) of young children turn to worksheets.  Parents ask me all the time what they can do to help their children.  When I give them age appropriate suggestions, most of the parents ask, “Can’t I just get them one of those get ready for kindergarten workbooks instead?”  Are parents really that lazy?  Or is it the teachers who make the parents believe it’s okay because it’s what they do in class?  I don’t know.  I can’t believe what they world of education is coming to these days.

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About deepbluetide

I am a pre-kindergarten teacher at a private christian school. I work mornings with 4 year olds (most of whom enter my class in July still being 3 - they're babies!) and then in the afternoon work "daycare" - which is basically my own class combined with 5 year old children. One things for sure - it's never dull! I had no idea growing up I would be teaching pre-k today! It took me totally off guard - but in the end I wouldn't change a thing! I have worked with children whose age range is 6 weeks through 12 years. In the end I have decided that my current age group is my favorite! And in case you were wondering - all names mentioned are changed to protect the identities of those involved. Enjoy!

7 responses »

  1. Great post! Teachers have lots of arguments in defense of worksheets, you can read some of them on my No More Worksheets page: http://www.pre-kpages.com/no_more_worksheets/ Worksheets at best occupy some students- they do not educate students.

    One argument I hear too often from preschool teachers is “they need to get ready for kindergarten because they will have to do worksheets daily in Kindergarten.” In response to that statement Karen from Prekinders said it best “I will not prepare my students for inappropriate practices by doing inappropriate things in my own class.”

    • I love what Karen said – that’s perfect! I’ll remember that for the future! I also love your no more worksheets page…great info! thanks! 🙂

  2. Thank you for being an advocate for those 2s (and other preschoolers).

    And I’m certain that kids who are “bright” and “getting bored and in trouble” won’t be helped all that much by worksheets. They need to get engaged in some active exploration. (Sorry, I won’t get on my soap box.)

  3. woohoo, good for you! I’m glad you not only stood up to those teachers but also made suggestions about the role a teacher has in helping parents understand what is developmentally appropriate. Children don’t come with manuals and the pressures from our society and culture can send messages that parents don’t really know how to respond to.
    ps…
    (My mom was a primary school teacher and her response to parents who talked about their children being bored was that intelligent children were never bored.)

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