Kindergarten Innovation: The Way It’s Changed


Megan Harvey, Reporter

Today, in the Alden Primary School, kindergarten students are expected to accomplish more than they ever have before, and their day is far beyond just playtime.

Primary School principal Michael Stepnick was more than willing to open a dialogue with me about his experience in education and what changes have altered kindergarten education over recent years.


To gain perspective from someone even further involved with the day-to-day kindergarten experience, I asked Mrs. Joanne Pletcher, a kindergarten teacher of 9 years and a first grade teacher of twenty, to give me her thoughts about the changes she’s noticed throughout her years of teaching.


With such a dramatic transformation of the kindergarten experience, it can be overwhelming to think that their day is so much more geared toward productivity, and not the laid back daycare-like times that many of us remember. However, there are many ways teachers ensure that their students stay active, focused, and excited to learn throughout the day, methods of which Mr. Stepnick explains take advantage of student curiosity.


And taking advantage of student curiosity is not an unfamiliar concept to the Alden Central School District in the slightest. Intrinsic motivation is emphasized throughout all grade levels, and because of this nuance, the importance of implementing that approach is even more crucial.


To put it simply, school is changing. And not only is it up to us, the students, to embrace that change, but it is also the responsibility of our administrators, teachers, and even parents to have a positive perspective on this modern approach to education.