Last night, my 11 year old daughter, 3 year old son, and I went to our church's preschool open house. My 13 year old son didn't want to go, of course, and my husband wasn't home yet. So anyway, it was a different experience because I thought it was only an open house for prospective parents and their kids to look at the classrooms and curriculum. Well, I was wrong! It was that, but it was also an open house for current parents and their kids to look at their kids work and see how their child is doing, and talk to the teacher about their child's progression. So, of course, all of us parents were all vying for time to talk to the teacher. I had a notebook with several questions I wanted answered and of course the other parents wanted to know if their kids were ready for kindergarten. The teacher tried to balance her time, but I wasn't getting my questions answered. Plus, I really didn't like her answers. I asked about what my son should know before entering, and she said she didn't like parents that pushed their kids to know everything before they came because then the next year, they would resent it and hate kindergarten. Well, I don't want him to know everything, but having "a leg up" isn't a bad thing. I did the same thing with my 13 and 11 year old, and they are in GATE and are doing just fine. Of course they don't love school, I don't think anyone does, but they certainly don't resent having "a leg up."
So, after all that, I decided to go next door to the other pre-K classroom and lucky for me, the one set of parents in there, were leaving! I was able to talk to the teacher for about half an hour! I really liked her. She talked to me and my other 2 kids(unlike the other teacher) and she definitely does differentiated learning - based on their knowledge and abilities. She even had a kindergarten "100 word book" in her classroom because a couple of the kids are ready for it! What a different perspective from the other teacher! She does realize the kids need a lot of play time, just like the other teacher, but she acknowledges you can also learn from play. One example is to teach gravity, besides just dropping a pencil, she has them race cars down ramps. One other interesting thing about her is she also has an eighth grade son at the same school as mine, and it turns out they know each other. With all these wonderful things about her, I definitely wanted her as my son's teacher. When I saw the principal and went to request her as my son's teacher(I also volunteer in the church office once a week, so I have a little advantage), she told me the teacher is moving in June! I am so disappointed. Oh well, we'll have to wait and see who her replacement will be.