National Kindergarten Day
I have been teaching kindergarten for the past twelve years, but it wasn’t until about five years ago that I even knew National Kindergarten Day existed! I was surprised that none of my kindergarten colleagues had mentioned it to me in my beginning years as a teacher. Anywho, I’d like to share a little history about the holiday with you, along with a special kindergarten memory of my own. Potentially, you’ll find what you learn worth passing on.
National Kindergarten Day is celebrated annually on April 21st. The day honors Friedrich Wilhelm August Frobel (April 21, 1782 – June 21, 1852) who is credited with starting the very first kindergarten in Germany in 1837. Frobel was a teacher and a student of Pestalozzi who laid the foundation for modern education based on the recognition that children have unique needs and capabilities. (www.nationaldaycalendar.com)
Even as adults, we often retain vivid memories of our kindergarten or early school experience. For example, I remember my very first lunchbox. I was so proud of it. I loved carrying it to school everyday. It was metal with a light blue Gingham pattern, and one side had a big red apple on it. There were also some words in white, but for the life of me I can’t remember what the letters spelled, probably because I was too young to read at the time. I’d open it at lunch time to find a TastyKake Krimpet inside, with fruit or a sandwich lovingly packed by my mom or dad. The memory brings a smile to my face and a warm feeling to my heart.
Providing children with good early school experiences is key to helping them develop a lifelong love of learning, and often begins at home. As teachers, we partner with parents to encourage students to develop positive attitudes about learning. My lunch box may not have been part of a classroom lesson, but learning its colors and pattern, the name of the fruit on it, how to open it, even the simple act of identifying it as mine contributed to the good feelings I associate with school and learning. Those associations began in the days when I was just a little girl carrying a lunchbox.
What are some of your favorite kindergarten memories? Consider sharing some with your students to help them feel great about learning from their first days of school.