Times Assistant Editor Jess Bengtson begins her ‘A Day in the Life of…’ series in which she spends a day shadowing a local professional or business. Her first stop? Renee Tangquist’s kindergarten classroom at Washington School
“A day in the life of kindergartners at the beginning of the year is very different from a day in the life of kindergartners at the end of the year.”
Washington Elementary School kindergarten teacher Renee Tangquist uttered these words on a Tuesday morning as her kindergartners worked at their stations. This coming from someone who has been with them five days a week for almost seven hours a day for almost nine months. She has been there to shape their minds with reading, writing and arithmetic, all at an advanced level of rigor. So advanced, in fact, that one of the first things I overheard from a student who was getting situated for the day was a question about double digit subtraction. (Double digit subtraction? I don’t even know if I knew what subtraction was when I was in kindergarten. Seriously.)
I arrived on a Tuesday morning for my first assignment in the beginning of this series, “A Day in the Life of…” I chose to shadow a kindergarten teacher first because of two reasons: 1) Who better to begin with? 2) School was almost out for the summer and I didn’t want to have to wait until the fall. That Tuesday morning I walked in just before the kids and inched by a swarm of teachers and paraprofessionals eagerly awaiting the big smiles that would come through the door.
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