About Kiri

I am a public school pre-kindergarten teacher, somewhere in flyover-land. I work mornings with a classroom of delightful children, at least two of whom each year have been identified as having special needs of one sort or another.

When I was in college I had no idea I would end up as a teacher, so I majored in History.  A few years after college, I was complaining about my job, when a very good friend turned to me and said, “Why don’t you be a teacher?”

That was it — my light bulb moment.  After that I went to grad school and got a master’s degree in early childhood education.  I started off in daycare, but moved to an urban public school district within a few years, and taught kindergarten for many years.  Now I teach pre-kindergarten, and I love it.

My school is not doing well under NCLB, so a few years ago we began a program to improve our teaching, and thus hopefully improve the children’s test scores.  I was a mentor under that program, in addition to my teaching responsibilities.  Being a mentor was great, because I learned a lot, but the paperwork (and a few other things) started to drag me down.  This school year I will return to working half-time, and look forward to reclaiming my afternoons.

All names have been changed — some years I name my students after children’s book characters, or after fruits and veggies.   Thsi year, it’s animals.  To see who’s who, check my “cast of characters” page.  In addition, some identifying details have been changed to protect people’s privacy.  For more information about my blog, see this post.

26 thoughts on “About Kiri

  1. I am so pleased to have found your blog. I will be sharing your site with my ECE students. Best wishes for a wonderful 2008-09 school year!

  2. I am a public school teacher and I think your blog is beautiful in words and in aesthetics. How did you design such a gorgeous layout? I can’t wait to enter a new school year with your thoughtful posts!

    • Ashlie,
      Thanks, but I didn’t design it. It was one of the options from wordpress.com. Glad you like it, though, and welcome to my blog!

      Kiri

  3. Wow! you are singing my songs of preK. I’m reading this and worrying (again? after 30 something years?) about starting a new year, on Monday! thanks for your blog!

  4. Hello,
    First of all I just wanted to let you know I love your website, and we need more sites online like yours. With that said I have a couple of questions for you:
    1) Is it OK if I link to your website from my site bayareabags.com?
    2) Is my fashion website bayareabags.com worthy enough to be linked to from your website?
    Please let me know when you have some time. Talk to you soon.
    CP

  5. Truly enjoyed your site. I teach music to K – 6th in an inner city school. I love it, but the little ones really put a cramp in my style, seeing as how they don’t read and sometimes just fall out of their chairs for no reason :) In any case, thanks for all the great info. I also love how you have split your blog roll into categories! Another great idea. PS – I also loved this theme from word press. It is such a hard decision on what theme to use!

  6. Wow, I am so happy that I stumbled across your blog! This is such an inspiration to me, I am a junior history major and have decided that I too want to go and get my Master’s in ECE! For some reason, I really feel a desire to teach pre-K and I would love to hear your opinion on some of the best (and some of the hard parts) of teaching these little one! :)

  7. Thank you for leaving such a pertinent comment on my blog. You said it beautifully. I just couldn’t believe that the woman would leave such a narcissistic comment on my blog. I think you are right….we are babysitters to her.

    If I can ever share anything with you, please let me know. I would be happy to share newsletters, lesson plans, ideas, strategies…you name it. Have a wonderful week-end!!

  8. Dear Kiri:

    I enjoy reading your blog, and was wondering if you would like to do a link exchange. My book blog’s url is educationanddeconstruction.com. Every week, I make a nonfiction book recommendation in the topic areas of education, history, technology, biography and/or humor. I have already put up your link. Please reply if you would like to do a link exchange. Thank you.

    Sincerely,

    Sally Friedman

  9. Dear Kiri:

    I am pleased to announce that my book: “The Education and Deconstruction of Mr. Bloomberg, How the Mayor’s Education and Real Estate Development Policies Affected New Yorkers 2002-2009 Inclusive” is available at both Amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com, on the Kindle, on other e-books and in book form.

    Here is a link to Amazon:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003VRZVBM/ref=ord_cart_shr?ie=UTF8&m=ATVPDKIKX0DER

    Please visit my book blog at http://www.educationanddeconstruction.com (See “Bonus Post”) and https://www2.xlibris.com/bookstore/bookdisplay.aspx?bookid=81047 to read excerpts. Thank you.

    Sincerely,

    Sally A. Friedman

    • hi, would it be a problem to ask you to send some of your materials you use to me? i am a 1st year teacher and don’t have a lot of stuff. any thing you have will be most appreciated. love, fran

  10. Kiri,
    New to your blog. Wondering what curriculum your school district uses for preschool. I teach pre-K (public school) in Virginia and I am less-than-thrilled with their choice of “curriculum.”

  11. Hi Kiri-

    I tried to find a way to contact you other than through a comment, but couldn’t find an email or contact form. I wanted to let you and your followers know about the Pets in the Classroom grant that is available for k-6th grade teachers. It gives teachers up to $150 towards getting a pet and pet supplies for the classroom. Please check out http://www.petsintheclassroom.org for details. Thanks!

    • Thanks for letting me (and others) know. I won’t be applying, however. Every time I have fish in the room they die within 48 hours, so I am not doing pets anymore!

  12. Dear Kiri,
    I found your blog on Pinterest and I really loved it. What I liked most was the ability to see everything from a teacher’s point of view. And I would like to ask you for some advice.
    I’m pregnant with my first child and I plan on raising a multilingual kid. I grew up bilingual (Portuguese until I was 10, and Spanish from that point on). Later when I was 19 I went to an exchange program to learn English. I feel my Portuguese and Spanish are both at the native level, but English will always be a “foreign” language to me. That said, I feel very comfortable speaking, writing, reading and thinking in English. My husband who is a native English speaker (from Hispanic origin) will ask me for the correct spelling of English words ;-)
    Sooo that was the background…
    My plan is to only speak Portuguese with my baby, and my husband and his family ( we are very close, have almost daily contact) will speak only Spanish. My own family is not on the picture. My husband and I will speak English or Spanish between us. This is following the “One Parent One Language” approach. our kid will not have any purposeful exposure to English until he/she goes to school. I remember after my parents moved I was sent to a school where I didn’t speak the language (transition from Portuguese to Spanish), and it was a great experience, learned the new language fast and had no problems with it. Of course just by leaving here in the US he/she will be somewhat exposed to the language. We are not into a closed immigrant community, other than our family most of our friends/acquaintances speak only English.
    From your perspective as a teacher, what do you think of that? Do you have any advice on what things we should do different? What mistakes to avoid?Are there any book or any material you would recommend?
    I know you are a busy person, and I felt reluctant to ask you to take time from your busy day to answer a stranger online, but I think you might have valuable advice, and there is not a door I would not knock if I think that might help my child. I hope you understand that.
    THANK YOU SO MUCH for taking the time to read this!!!

    • I’m on Pinterest? Cool! And welcome to my blog; it was always my hope that I’d have parents here, who could get a different perspective on educating little ones.

      I think what you are planning sounds great. Three languages, instead of two, however, is not something with which I have experience. I do know that when parents speak one language to their children until they come to school, and then the children start to learn English, it can work just fine. My non-English speakers learn a lot the year they are with me. It does help, however, if they have some exposure to English beforehand, from friends, older siblings, and/or children’s tv. I wonder, since Portuguese and Spanish have a lot of similarities, will that be confusing for your child, or will that make it easier? Googling bilingual children led me to this book, which might be helpful for you: Bilingual by Choice.

      Good luck, and congratulations on your impending motherhood.

  13. Hello, I have a quick question for you about your site. If you could please get back to me at your earliest convenience I would greatly appreciate it. Have a great day!

    Thanks,
    Dan Gilbert
    Marketing Support Coordinator
    Primrose Schools

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