UNION COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - Kindergarten - for many kids is the first time they’ve ever stepped foot in a classroom and that means getting acquainted with new rules, new friends, schedules and now - academics.
“It needs to be more of an excitement about learning process," says Gary Sides, board member of Union County Public Schools.
This is something Sides fears our kindergartners aren’t getting enough of.
“In this day and age, there’s just too much early pressure to perform in testing.”
Testing continues to be a hot topic in the North Carolina school system. Just last month state Superintendent Mark Johnson vowed to lessen testing in schools, starting at younger grade levels.
“We are testing students too much," said Johnson.
Sides says these young minds, should instead be focusing on learning to love the education process.
“Social interaction, creativity, the excitement of learning.”
He says the board needs to take a deeper look at the students enrolling in kindergarten, to cater to their specific needs, asking “What percentage of our students do you think, don’t come from a pre-school setting? They come right from home into kindergarten.”
With those numbers unknown - the board agreed, pushing academic pressure on kids too quickly could set them up for tougher path in school down the road.
“Telling them to read this or reach a certain academic level after kindergarten, it should be more about getting excited about learning and the social aspects," said Sides.
Board members say they’ll take a hands-on approach with these concerns.
“We can sit in a kindergarten classroom and see what’s going on," mentioned one board member.
“We’ve got to remember, we’re not creating robots. We’re creating well-rounded students," mentioned another.
Sides says this recommendation isn’t criticizing the current methods their teachers currently use, but the board ultimately deciding they are going to look into in the next few months.