One thing they don’t teach you about being a teacher is how to teach kindergarten classroom procedures. Sure, you may have had some experience with student teaching, but unless you were there to see your mentor teacher teach procedures, you are often just guessing how to get your students to behave correctly.
Let me let you in on a secret – I was terrible at teaching classroom procedures in the beginning. In fact, I was so oblivious that I thought my students weren’t behaving rather than taking a look at how I was teaching them to do things.
It showed up as students getting out of their seats while I was teaching, playing in the bathroom, and walking in the hallways super loud and out of order. Instead of looking at my procedures, I scrolled Instagram looking for solutions. If you can relate to this, hang tight. I am going to share with you the three mistakes I made with Kindergarten classroom procedures for years, so you don’t have to make the same mistakes I did!
A Quick Note:
Before we get started, I want to give you a little backstory on my exposure to teaching kindergarten classroom procedures. I did my student teaching during my Master of Arts in Teaching program with an amazing mentor teacher. However, I started after she had already taught procedures, so I missed out on that crucial learning opportunity. I was left to guess how to teach procedures to my students. It wasn’t until I ran into this lovely human, Miss May, that I learned so much! Be sure to check her out – I’ll include the link in the description below. I started experimenting with classroom procedures and realized I was doing it all wrong. Here are the mistakes I realized I was making:
I wasn’t modeling what the procedures should look and sound like. I would just tell my students what to do and expect them to do it perfectly. Despite taking so many education classes on modeling and practice, I didn’t think to apply that to kindergarten classroom procedures. Then I would get frustrated with my kids when they didn’t know how to behave. No wonder! Always remember to model the procedure in Kindergarten – it makes a world of difference.
Not Providing a Visual:
After I told my students once, I would expect them to remember it. But it takes practice and a visual reminder, especially at a Kindergarten level. It’s important to visually remind them of what they should be doing. Whether it’s displaying the ABC song in the bathroom or having a raising hand sign, providing visual cues never crossed my mind. But it can make a significant impact on their understanding and compliance with procedures.
I would tell my students once and felt like I was repeating myself a thousand times, but I never really reviewed the kindergarten classroom procedures consistently. This lack of review impacted my classroom management, and I found myself relying on incentives to get my students to do what was expected of them. I have come a long way from that, and I’ve learned to do better. However, I wish I had known all of this earlier, but I simply hadn’t seen it done.
Those were the three top mistakes I made teaching Kindergarten procedures. If you found this blog post valuable, be sure to like and subscribe because later this week, I will be sharing the right way to teach classroom procedures. Stay tuned for more helpful tips! See you soon, teacher bestie!
The Present Teacher
P.S. Do you have more questions about teaching at the elementary level? Check out the Ultimate Teacher Elementary Answer Guide where I share my answers to the top 10 questions I get asked about teaching elementary.