My name is Barbara Allisen, known most days as Mrs. A. I’m a kindergarten teacher, author, parent and radio show host with over 30 years experience, primarily in kindergarten and preschool.
I grew up in a tiny village close to the family farm, later moving to a small town and then city. Crisscrossing the country, I graduated with a B.A., B.Ed., D.P. E. and a special diploma in Early Childhood Services. Two kids of my own, one with special needs, were another education (and the degree S.U.R.V.I.V.E.D).
I’m often asked why I teach kindergarten (other than most students after grade 2 are taller than I am). At what other grade level could I play with puzzles and blocks and make crafts and build Lego and shape playdough and read Big Books? And get drawings for my fridge and hugs now that my kids are grown?
And why do I now have a kindergarten readiness website? Because:
- Children are 20% of the population and 100% of the future.
- Because: Children who are ready for school do better in all the other grades and have more chance of finishing school. Unfortunately, many children who enter school behind their classmates stay behind.
- But mostly because: Being ready for school starts before children ever get there. Plus, it turns out that one of the critical factors that affects children’s success at school is PARENT INVOLVEMENT. So, supporting parents and caregivers is one of the best ways to support kids.
“Dear Mrs. Allisen, Thank you for a wonderful year. Keera really enjoyed herself….She was so sad to realize that kindergarten was ending that she cried.”
This one is from Jacob, “Thank you for being my first teacher.”
I carry the memories of more than 1,000 children’s school beginnings in my heart. I only wish I’d known for all of them what I now know and what I am still learning. I invite you to share the journey of getting children ready for school with me.
This is a picture of me traveling (and learning Spanish…).