The Role of Teachers

Kindergarten teachers at 360 Kids perform a complex and multidimensional role. They are responsible for implementing a program that is thoughtfully planned, challenging, engaging, integrated, developmentally appropriate, and culturally and linguistically responsive, and that promotes positive outcomes for all children. A developmentally appropriate preschool program is challenging, but has expectations that are attainable for most children. The educational program is flexible enough to respond to individual differences and is consistent with children’s ways of thinking and learning. In order to support the continuum of learning from one grade to the next, our 'Play School Teachers' are aware of the curriculum expectations for Grade 1 and later primary grades. Knowledge of the literacy and numeracy continua, in particular, is critical for teachers as they lay the foundation for learning.

Teachers at 360 Kids use reflective practice, planned observation, and a range of assessment strategies to identify the strengths, needs, and interests of individual children in order to provide instruction that is appropriate for each child. Teachers plan whole-class instruction, small-group learning, independent learning, and activities at learning centres. There is a balance between teacher-initiated and child-initiated activities – times when the teacher guides the children’s learning and times when children are given opportunities to choose activities to demonstrate their knowledge. Learning experiences to promote integrated learning and allow children to handle, explore, and experiment with a variety of materials that are familiar to them or that they can connect to everyday life. 

Teachers also use their knowledge of the social and cultural contexts in which the children live to develop and provide learning experiences that are meaningful, relevant, and respectful.

Consultations with parents, caregivers, resource teachers, teacher assistants, early childhood educators, and children themselves are an important part of the complex process of program planning. Teachers work with these partners to gather and share information on the strengths, needs, interests, abilities, and learning styles of the children in the class, so that they can better select materials and resources and can plan and organize appropriate learning experiences.

In their relations with families, teachers can play an important role in facilitating the significant transition that children face between their home and the school environment. Ongoing communication between families and teachers results in a smoother transition for children, and is a key strategy in building bridges between home and school. Teachers also need to be culturally aware, and should encourage parents to become involved in school life and to take an active part in their child’s education.