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kinderlady7 kinderlady7 is offline
 
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kinderlady7
 
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In need of a confidence boost...
Old 03-01-2021, 03:40 PM
 
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Good evening everyone. Iím mostly here to vent but if anyone has any helpful advice it would be sooooo greatly appreciated!

It is my second year teaching and I am on the struggle bus. Every day I try so so hard to stay positive but the combination of my students behaviors and my school environment is just all so tough.

Iíve posted about my students here before. Iíve been utilizing logical consequences in my classroom and I was feeling so positively about how that was going and then boom! Today stunk! I have two (behavior problem) students who just donít respond to it at all. Which is such a bummer. So back to the drawing board with them. I have asked for assistance with these students from our coach who is there to help us, I have had a time scheduled and she never showed and never mentioned it again. So Iím helpless. If anyone has any ideas for logical consequences for breaking all of a students utensils/ items to where they are unusable, let me know😅

Also The reading curriculum we have to teach is the worst. My students are so so bored that they act out. This 9 weeks we are talking about trees and what the provide for us and animals. My poor kinder babies struggle soooo hard to sit still, listen to the (boring) read aloud, and then discuss the same exact boring topic everyday. I have wracked my brain trying to make it interesting but I cannot come up with anything! I feel for them! But when I stray from the lessons, I am told by admin to follow the curriculum. Sheesh! Our principal is constantly hovering, reprimanding kids and telling me what I need to be doing with them in front of the students, undermining and embarrassing me. Treating us like students in the faculty meetings. It is absolutely frustrating.

Iím leaving this school system the next year and I cannot wait. I need to make it through this year in a way that is beneficial to my mental health and to my students. Any advice?😩


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Gromit Gromit is offline
 
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Old 03-01-2021, 05:31 PM
 
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I'm not a kinder teacher, but I feel bad no one has responded yet.

So here goes from a "definitely not a kinder teacher." But a lot of this, I think, is multigrade useful.

First bit of advice is to recognize that this year sucks for everyone. You are not alone on the struggle bus; it's a bit overcrowded, to be honest.


Even veteran teachers sometimes have students with whom the year is a constant challenge and "back to the drawing board" is a constant refrain. Relationship building continues to be the backbone of every discipline system. I personally like Love and Logic's noticing for difficult children (note that I did not say I personally find L&L's "noticing" easy). But basically, you just notice things about them. No judgement - positive or negative. No expectation of response. "Hey, Johnny, I notice you draw anime pictures on your papers." If they engage, great. If not, just move on, you didn't ask for a response and you might not get one. And they can't argue because you stated a fact. You didn't say, "I noticed you draw good anime pictures" or "you draw pictures a lot" or "I like the pictures you draw." It's a simple statement of fact.

Then consequences -- logical and natural. I don't know the situation where Johnny broke all the student's items, but if he can't be trusted in X situation, then he doesn't get to be in X situation. For example, if he broke all of his materials because they were sharing, then he doesn't get to share with anyone anymore. Of if he broke them because he was able to get into another student's cubby, then he's not allowed to go into the cubbies anymore. Stuff like that.

Quote:
Iím leaving this school system the next year and I cannot wait. I need to make it through this year in a way that is beneficial to my mental health and to my students. Any advice?😩
You've already made the decision not to stay in this district, so getting you through the year will be a bit easier, in my opinion. I find irritations much easier to handle when I know that I can say, "see ya!" at any point I want.

Then ask yourself:
What are you absolutely required to do?
What can you seek forgiveness/not permission for?
What will nobody notice?

It's hard when you've got a micromanager, but there has to be something that you can switch up.


Some random ideas from a not kinder teacher:

Can you do silly voices for the boring read aloud? If you think it's boring, is it possible that your tone of voice is conveying that unconsciously. Try to make it interesting for you.

Can you do text comparisons? So read the curriculum story and then bring in a picture book you love and discuss the curriculum topic with both stories?

If P hovers to the point that you can't even do that, do you have time in your day for reading for the joy of reading? #Classroombookaday by Jillian Heise is a great way to take 5-10 minutes just enjoying books. But you choose your books carefully to match your curriculum (just don't tell the kids that). Then, when you read your curriculum book, you can say, "Hey, do you remember that book we read during story time?" and begin the discussion of the topic with that book. Comparing texts is a standard, right??

Can you build movement into your lessons? Even in my older grades, I have them do hand gestures to connect to facts we learn.

I hope that helps a little and someone with kinder advice comes along.
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Thank you
Old 03-02-2021, 07:34 AM
 
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I appreciate all your advice. I will keep looking into the love and logic program but I like that as well! Thanks for your positivity and support!!!! It means a lot!
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kindergarten
Old 03-06-2021, 11:39 AM
 
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From your post it appears that you are in the classroom, not doing online teaching.

I am really sorry that you are in such a difficult situation. Know that many/most new teachers go through this too.

My first three years of teaching were spent in kindergarten, when K was still half day, and before K became the new first grade. I had a morning K and an afternoon K with 25 students in each. What saved me the first year was my incredibly helpful team partner who was able to model dealing with children who had challenging behaviors.

Are you the only K teacher? Would you be able to talk to another K teacher in your building or perhaps in other buildings? It appears that your coach is not supportive at all. This should be addressed, but I understand how difficult that would be for a newbie teacher. Document every time you request assistance and the (lack of) response. I learned long ago that CYA is important when you deal with situations like this.

Gromit already gave you some great advice, especially in making it through the next three or four months.

Regarding the student who breaks utensils/items, do the utensils/items belong to that particular student? In that case, the logical consequence would be that he/she would have to do without them. "Sorry you broke (item), buddy. You will now have to do without." Make sure to let the parents know that this is what will happen. You may get a tantrum, but tell the child it is unacceptable and then ignore it completely, unless the child becomes violent towards other children. In that case have the child removed. Document the child's behaviors, document what you have been doing, document the coach's non-responsiveness, document, document, document.

Since you are planning to leave the school system, you can start conducting your reading curriculum your way, or ask your principal (or coach) to model a lesson. It is often an eye opener to see the principal or coach not being able to manage this.

Is the principal expecting you to teach step by step out of a curriculum manual? We all know that doesn't work. Teachers should have the freedom to deviate from lessons if they don't work for them. The lockstep approach is one of the worst educational models I can think of.

Another thing: kids are not meant to sit and listen all the time, especially in K. They need to be up and moving. Have them get up every 10 minutes and do fun exercises for a few minutes: jumping jacks, running in place, standing on one foot, squats, etc.

Something teachers (should) know: attention spans are short in elementary school. Five year olds can at the most pay attention for 5 minutes, six year old 6 minutes, and so on. You cannot expect them to sit for half an hour or longer and pay attention.

Get some interesting books from the public library, and use them instead of the boring material you use now. I used to design my own units, and there are so many different ways you can approach the curriculum.

I can give you some pointers if you pm me. Or just if you need to vent.
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Hang in there!
Old 03-06-2021, 01:39 PM
 
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I prefer intrinsic motivation, but a few years ago I had so many behavior issues that I started using class dojo. https://www.classdojo.com/

I didnít share it with parents, but it worked well with my hooligans. The chime it makes when they get a point is very motivating. It makes a different sound if you choose to take off points. I left the website open on my SmartBoard but behind another tab, and used another device for the points so I didnít need to be at the board or my desktop computer.

You can do it. This is a difficult year even for veteran teachers. Almost there!


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