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lmarie
 
 
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Old 01-01-1970, 12:00 AM
 
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Thank you everyone for your help. I really liked the idea about the Warm Fuzzies jar. Things started to go better this week. Even the other part time helpers noticed.


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I Might Give My Two Weeks Notice Tomorrow
Old 04-05-2006, 02:15 PM
 
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I think I have gotten into something way over my head. I have my bs in elementary education. I was recently hired last week to be the new head teacher for the daycare. I teach preschoolers (4-5 yr olds). I work from 8-5 Mon through Fri. I have to plan writing, math, reading, and art lessons daily. This is only my second week working. The children haven't had a head teacher for a while-she quit-go figure. The children are running around like wild animals. There is no order. The children do not listen when I turn off the lights I gave them assigned seats on the rug, I even implemented some rules, and time out. This still isn't working. I am exhausted at the end of the day, my voice is hoarse. I feel like I should quit. I think I might put in my 2 wks notice.
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Eat you alive
Old 04-05-2006, 07:05 PM
 
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Yes the little ones will eat you alive. You should try a class meeting and get their input on the class rules. You lead the discussion and ask them if they like falling down and getting hurt? You ask them to name ways they can stay safe. You write this all on a chart paper. You ask them do they like loud voices (you use a very loud voice)? What can we do the help keep the noise down? Do you like to be hit and kicked? Who can name a way we can stop this from happening?
Let them help set up the rules.
Have you taken your class on a walk through (tour) in the classroom to the centers you expect them to go to and explain how each one works and what the limits are. Explain the routine you have set up for their day and have it posted at eye level for them. Assign daily jobs that change everyday or once a week.
I taught preschool for 7 years and I loved it but they need to know who is in charge and what your expectations are and they need to have some choices in what happens to them throughout the day. Good luck. Do you have an aid in the classroom? What is her/his job? Assign specific jobs for any workers in your room so they don't stand around doing nothing. Keep smiling. These kids will be very loving once you establish a caring relationship with them. Right now you are the stranger. It takes about a month. Be firm and consistent. Sing with them, dance with them, enjoy watching their minds work as they figure out things. Art is so much fun for this age. They are very creative because they don't know limits yet. Sorry it is so rough. Hope and pray for you that it will get better. Don't give up on them yet. Hang in there if you can. They need stability, guidlines and a firm leader.
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how to get through
Old 04-05-2006, 07:32 PM
 
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bribery, rewards, consequences, consistency, immediate feedback, constant encouragement.....

how much longer do you have in the school year? i worry that if you quit now you will not be able to get a job again in your district.

your situation reminds me CLEARLY of what our school went through 2 years ago--we were starting a preschool (for delayed/disadvantaged students pre-K), and it seemed like forever for it to get started, furniture, etc. we finally got it going....like in February (weird time to start!) and had a young teacher (who had a full-time aide!) and she went in to tell the principal ....i didn't realize it, but i don't like little children; this isn't for me (something to that effect). my principal wanted to strangle her!!! so she quit and our ELL teacher took over that position and had a long-term sub for the rest of the year. i know my principal (fair, hard worker, willing to help anyone) did not speak well of that gal!

GOOD LUCK! have a bubble bath with some wine and listen to relaxing music.
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I'm with Tia!
Old 04-06-2006, 01:44 AM
 
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Reward for good behavior! Just small things, but be consistent. Eventually you'll be able to fade out the little rewards to have a larger reward system.


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1st year
Old 04-06-2006, 05:48 AM
 
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I have to tell you that your first year or two of teaching anywhere is going to be overwhelming, exhausting and make you question your sanity. It does get better but it takes time. Teaching is a very challenging career. Don't give up on yourself so easily!
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reward idea
Old 04-06-2006, 01:13 PM
 
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In some preschool classes I have worked in, the class has a "Warm Fuzzies" jar. The fuzzies are pompoms. Everytime you see a kid doing something nice for someone else, you put a fuzzy in the jar. When the jar is filled up, there is a class reward. Little kids seem to love this! Plus they can visually see that they have done many nice things for each other, and it encourages them to do even more. You can also talk during your afternoon circle (if you have one) about why you gave the warm fuzzies (keep little notes to help you remember).

Something my old early childhood instructor told us: it takes 7 positive comments to a child to cancel out 1 negative comment. I've always tried to keep this in the back of my mind when dealing with kids of all ages. If you have to reprimand one kid for something, then as soon as you can, praise the child for something good he has done - and keep looking for positive things he's doing for the rest of the day!

Good luck - working with the little ones certainly is a hard job!
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Don't Quit!
Old 04-18-2006, 09:57 AM
 
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I stuck it out through my first year and then quit. I thought it was forever, but it turned out to be 12 years. I've taught first grade now for 16 years. Quitting wrecked my self-confidence as much as that first teaching year did, but lasted much longer. I applaud your efforts to stay and find the support you need. I agree with all of the replies I've read and would like to add 2 suggestions.
First: PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE, THEN PRACTICE SOME MORE! This practice needs to be very explicit, a little light-hearted, and filled with praise. The First Six Weeks of School; Strategies for Teachers Series #2 by Paula Denton and Roxann Kriete is a superb resource for teaching routines, published by Stenhouse Publishers. While it's not written for preschool, it certainly can be adapted.
Second: teach a simple clapping pattern for students to copy and use this to get their attention focused on you. Remember, you'll have to practice this a lot, over many days, before it becomes a good tool. You should not need to raise your voice to get their attention. Oh, and grandma's remedy of gargeling with warm salt water does really help.
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Old 04-19-2006, 07:34 PM
 
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Thanks for your advice. I will look those books up. Does anyone have any good recommendations for curriculum books for preschoolers? I know that there is a lot of material online-if you have the time to search! Things are getting better-SLOWLY! I feel as if I am moving in slow motion with the kiddos. Not one of my methods courses in college could have prepared me for this type of work. Those 4 year olds are adorable- but they can be little devils at times.
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