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Smurfyteach Smurfyteach is offline
Joined: Jul 2007
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Smurfyteach's Avatar
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 802
Senior Member
For the OP- Now to stick to the topic....
Old 05-18-2019, 11:00 PM
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I love mentoring teachers and hope this is of assistance.

Firstly, count your lucky stars and never complain; I am used to 30 first graders without an Aide-- but if I get one, I would share her/him across the year level, so might get help for an hour, four days per week. That's it.

Secondly, you WILL be bulldozed. In the first instance, they are desperate to find out and then trust your character. They so want to see an authentic goodness and a nurturing demeanor in you. That's what they as parents, of course, not only should expect, but are trying to see a glimpse of in you, in just a brief window of time of a day as you take their child!

Remember, YOU almost alone, will be their IDOL. Someone they will all grow to adore. Take care of their SOUL. Develop their mind and promote citizenship. TREASURE these children and bring out the best in each one.

Get used to the unpredictability of parents (and children). It goes with the territory. Some days with parents are worse than others. Parents of K and One students ARE needy. Often, even still at Interview time.

What you have already said sounds great. Some pointers:

* Dear, I would never call parents. Noone here EVER does that. A phonecall home is for naughties, to touch base or a nice reward sometimes. Anything more is setting a precedent you can never fulfill. YES to weekly group emails about what is happening in class etc and/or paper Class Newsletter home as a hard copy.
* Therefore, you CAN and must foster responsibility with the children early on to unpack their own bags, including notes and communicate messages home.
* Getting to know you activities- try to do lots whilst sitting in a circle so all feel included. Make up/prepare and play a rare game of Pass the Parcel with school supplies in the layers, or cute things like small novelties would be nice.
* Behavior Management- Yes Class Dojo or a Behavior book (which I have created for all children before to complement my behavior ladder, but it is a lot of prep with monthly calendars glued inside, a colored scale and notes... can send it home daily or weekly and it captures all kids. It's really good and parents love it.
* Yes, whole group floor sessions. Partner off with some activities to apply what is learnt.
* Mini whiteboards (one for each child) can be your best friend for lessons, quick games, morning meeting time or revision.
* Show and Tell. Do you have this organised? We call it Oral Language Time or Speaking & Listening and it's compulsory and forms part of their Homework preparation. They can bring in something every week- or month- to show and explain to the whole class. No toys normally or once every now and then. You can use a 5 minute timer (but that can be cruel when they are in the middle of something or you have 'slower' speakers, so I'd rather not pressure each child to hurry).
I make up a Show and Tell grid of about 9 things and stick it into their Homework book, with MY various ideas in each square, so I choose the topic- they choose when they want to bring it in and I stamp the square when it is done!

That's all for now. Last piece of advice. It can be hard, but ALWAYS wear your smile whenever at the classroom door. Greet them all individually in the morning and make a special effort everyday to catch each of them at the door to farewell them in the afternoon. This is how you round off the day, help them go home happy whilst building class community- so important in the Early years.

GOOD LUCK! I just love this level with all it's fabulous and crazy goings-on, visible academic progressions, topped with regular cuteness and rewards and I hope you love it also.

Last edited by Smurfyteach; 05-19-2019 at 01:03 AM..
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