I want to start by saying that I liked my Kindergarten teacher. At the time she was exactly what people expected for a Kindergarten teacher. Looking back on it Kindergarten was a lot different in the 80's than it is today. I think it was a requirement (at least at my school) to be an older woman and like older woman things in order to teach Kindergarten. My teacher wore lots of ugly teacher jumpers and ugly old lady shoes. I would love to go back and raid her closet for our ugly sweater Christmas party at school. I would be able to come out with sweaters for the next 47 Christmas parties. She smelled of moth balls, coffee, and aqua net hairspray. We did a lot of playing things like thread the yarn through the hole-cut out pictures, and lots of play dress up stations. Our Kindergarten class had a huge set of Lincoln Logs but we never got to use them because they made too much noise according to our teacher. I know I knew how to write my name in kindergarten but I don't think I learned much more that year. I think it was semi average to go through Kindergarten without learning much in the 80's. We did do a lot of learning about or at least discussing being nice to people. As a Kindergartner I never asked my teacher what she did on the weekends but I imagine she did lots of cross word puzzles and possibly a 500 piece jig-saw puzzle on a wild weekend.
As a semi young teacher I feel like I am the complete opposite of my former teacher. For starters, I have a beard. These days in Kindergarten students are doing lots of exploration style learning. Students are learning to read and write but also lots of other valuable tools that will help them to continue to learn for the rest of their lives. Students are still learning how to be nice to others. There are lots of days that I am afraid that I am going to run out of time because there are so many wonderful teachable moments in a day on top of the required curriculum. As a 5 year old I never remember feeling like my day was packed with learning.
As far as m,e I spend my weekends canoeing lots of rivers and doing LOTS of fly-fishing. I spend many weekend nights of the year camping out with friends ( I consider my family my friends).
I love the wonderful changes that have taken place in the world of Kindergarten in the last 27 years. Hopefully as educators/learners we will always take time to reflect and improve with time. I look forward to a fun, fast-paced, exciting Kindergarten year.