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Kindergarten memories

July 29, 2010

Do you remember your kindergarten teacher?

Mine was Mrs. Burdette, who left a lasting impression as one of the kindest people I’ve ever met. She encouraged a lifelong love of reading in me, something that is still a huge part of my life.

The New York Times had a great story this week about ‘the case for $320,000 kindergarten teachers.’ The article was based on a longterm study showing that having a good kindergarten teacher can have a major effect on students when they become adults, from achieving higher education to earning more money.

I attended a Montesorri school for several years before starting kindergarten, but for many students, kindergarten is their first time in the classroom. It’s crazy to think that having a good teacher and kindergarten experience can set up a person’s entire life and yet… that seems to be the case.

Three friends and I had a mini kindergarten reunion a few months ago.

None of them were in my kindergarten class — actually, I think they all had the same teacher. Yes/no, guys?

But we’d all agree that our kindergarten experience — major props to Rachel Carson Elementary School — was extraordinary and that’s reflected in who we became. We all went to college, two went on to master’s programs and the other two have great jobs.

Was it kindergarten?

Do you remember your kindergarten teacher? Was it a good or bad experience?

18 Comments leave one →
  1. July 29, 2010 5:58 pm

    For obvious reasons I love this post, and this article- imagine all the traveling I could do for that salary. More importantly though (just slightly) I love that studies are showing what an effect my job has on kids for more than just a year or two. Makes it all worthwhile πŸ™‚

    • July 29, 2010 7:26 pm

      Yes! I actually thought of you while reading this article–you definitely have firsthand experience with this.

      High school/college profs get all the credit but my elementary school teachers were much more memorable. They taught me how to read, add and reason, which is more than my college plant bio teacher taught. πŸ˜‰

  2. July 29, 2010 7:10 pm

    I loved my kindergarten teacher. To this day, I remember being so excited when I found out who she was, and it always makes me smile when I think of the way she encouraged such a deep love of learning in all of us. All these years later, it’s something that I look back on so fondly. I never worked in a kindergarten classroom – my youngest was first grade – but I have such respect for teachers who start children out on the journey of learning. They’re beyond special πŸ™‚

    • July 29, 2010 7:27 pm

      Love hearing this! I forgot that you did some student teaching — such an important person to young kids!

  3. Jacquie permalink
    July 29, 2010 8:07 pm

    I loved my kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Zenke!!! She was the superintendent’s wife so we got away with A LOT like having a teepee in the classroom during the fall, making a huge sugar cube castle, learning how to read and learning French.
    I also met Whitney on the first day and we’ve been best friends ever since. That’s 20 years right there and we’re about to be roommates up in NYC!

    • July 29, 2010 8:21 pm

      A sugar cube castle? Fun!

      I met one BFF in preschool, others in kindergarten. Isn’t it funny how those end up being the strongest relationships?!

  4. July 30, 2010 7:06 am

    I remember my teacher was named Mrs. Anderson and we had baby chickens in the class. That’s pretty much it! I changed elementary schools in 4th grade, so most of my memories are from my later elem. (I went to 6th grade in elementary school too, it changed to middle school the next year.)

  5. July 30, 2010 7:30 am

    I LOVED kindergarten! And Juniour Kindergarten.

    I wonder if anyone out there had a terrible kindergarten experience.

    • July 31, 2010 8:37 am

      I wonder, too. Seems like kindergarten should be a win for all kids!

  6. louisianagrown permalink
    July 30, 2010 1:57 pm

    My kindergarten memories have more to do with friends and less to do with my teacher. She was kind of kooky and a bit of an alcoholic, but I seem to have turned out fine in spite of all that!

  7. July 30, 2010 5:20 pm

    I don’t remember much from kindergarden, except for having the job of sharpening pencils. I remember more from later years in elementary school for some reason.

  8. Tim permalink
    August 4, 2010 5:26 pm


    Kristen and I had Mrs. Rayford. Teddy had Mrs. Sherwood. So we weren’t really all together. I pulled out my yearbook because of this. We were all SOOO FREAKING CUTE! Teddy’s even in a suit and tie for his photo!

    • Tim permalink
      August 4, 2010 5:29 pm

      PS- in my yearbook. There’s a “This is Me! And Something about ME page” I said my Best Friend is Erin. And on the next page is a message from you:

      LOVE ERIN”

      Reprinted exactly.

      • August 4, 2010 7:14 pm

        TOO CUTE. I need to find my kindergarten yearbook! πŸ˜€

        (and caps are clearly the best way to express yourself πŸ˜‰ )

  9. Mala permalink
    January 23, 2011 4:36 pm

    Great article! I love to keep reading them, please continue πŸ™‚

  10. March 26, 2011 2:35 pm

    I am a Kindergarten teacher and I hope that I will have this same impact on my students. I beleive that Kindergarten is the most important grade in a students’ educational experience. Thank you for posting such a great blog.

  11. June 25, 2011 1:17 pm

    I look forward to transfering to kindergarten this fall!

    Thank you for the link to the NY Times article!

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