Among all the academics, we are revisiting the three main concepts studied with Portland Taiko: respect, cooperation, and perseverance. First grade is right around the corner, and I aim to send off thoughtful, ambitious, disciplined, and eager leaders. We have a very familiar routine in our class, and I believe it helps establish a sense of comfort and guidance. Within the predictable structure of each day, children are faced with multiple choices. So much of the success in kindergarten revolves around making good choices, all on one’s own. It can be a battle of wills, but we must always respect the feelings of others, consider what we say, and how we say it. Students understand that I have very high expectations; the work they do is important, and I know they can do it. On Monday, a student proudly announced, “Ms. Kennedy, I am going to be good the rest of the day. And it’s starting right now! You don’t have to wait!” How great is that!