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Fuzzy41 Fuzzy41 is offline
 
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Problem with co teacher
Old 08-02-2012, 05:01 PM
 
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Hi, I work with young threes to young fours. My co worker and I do not see eye to eye as far as expectations go. She believes that this age group should be able to put toys back in the exact spot that they are taken from at all times, Several days a week she comes in and does nothing but take several minutes to go through bins of toys rearranging them to her standards. I have seen her dump bins upon bins of toys out (house center) and make three year olds spend up to thirty minutes putting them back into what she considers to be the right spot. I have seen countless children driven to tears over this. She has been talked to several times about her "expectations" by the director and our supervisor. In a nutshell, as fellow professionals should this age range be expected to be able to do this? Her argument is that when they reach kindergarten this will be expected of them, my argument is that they are only three.


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Old 08-02-2012, 05:09 PM
 
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Wow. I agree with you (of course), but what a predicament to work in! How frustrating that the director and supervisor have already spoken to her about it, but nothing has changed.
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Old 08-02-2012, 05:45 PM
 
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Learn together, thanks for the reply, yes it is rough, I am considered the soft touch in the room, and she is considered to be the disciplinarian, our boss thinks we balance each other out. it is heartbreaking to see some of this every day. I have worked with her for the better part of eleven years, only spending about two of those years in the four to five year old room, being moved to a different room is not an option, although my boss would love to see me in the two year old room, I am pushing fifty and do not have the stamina for two year olds anymore. I can let most of the rants go in one ear and out the other,what gets me through is loving the little ones and knowing that they love me in return.
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Old 08-03-2012, 03:57 AM
 
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It sounds like she is putting the organization of your centers first. I also worked with someone who was OBSESSED with the home living center being perfect. She INSISTED that our 3s/4s leave whatever activity we were doing to come back and "clean this right!". My problem with it was mainly the anger. She was not just firm, she was mad! She would hold bins up waist high and dump things all over the floor. Waist high for her was head high for them. It scared them. I spoke to her several times, then spoke to our director as well. Nothing really changed until I asked her to help in the house at clean up. Together we came up with a game of sorts for her to play while they cleaned up. For example she would say "Hmmm this is a pan, is there anyone who could find something else we use to cook our food?" the kids scrambled to help. She eventually relaxed and I was almost brought to tears the first day I heard them all, including my co-worker, laughing over one of the kids justifications for his sort! Not sure if this helps you, especially if she does this in all of your areas, good luck, I understand how sad you are!
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Old 08-03-2012, 05:12 PM
 
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Thanks Mamaduffy, unfortunately it is the whole room she is obsessed with, but house corner seems to a particular obsession. I am the opposite of her, organization drives me completely nuts! I am the arts and crafts nut, my supervisor just laughs and tells me a lot of creative people are not known for their organization skills. As far as I am concerned as long as the toys are put away,the garbage taken out, the room vacuumed and looking neat, I'm happy. Thanks for your suggestion though, I don't think it will help with her, but it sure will help with getting certain kids to pick up.


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organization
Old 08-04-2012, 02:16 AM
 
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Maybe you could allow her to go through and label everything with pictures and then the kids would be able to put things in the right bins.

I always do this and it helps the kids learn sorting (I have only 4's though).

They learn which shelf the red blocks go on and which shelf the blue ones go on. They learn how to put food on one shelf and doll house toys on another.

At the start of the year we spend a day or two at circle sorting toys, and then they catch right on. It needs to be taught, not just expected. However, it sounds like she is going about it in the wrong way.

I think it is important to keep the classroom neat and tidy to teach those organizational skills to the children. They are important skills that they will always need.

I think the fact that she goes through and organizes before they come would be a good idea. If the kids cannot see where things belong or things are a mess before they even touch them, they will not be able to put things away properly.
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Old 08-04-2012, 05:52 AM
 
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Cow tipper, most of the shelves and bins do have pictures on, blocks are in one area, puzzles in another area, cars and trucks in another area, etc, the room always is clean. One example of something that would bother her is this: If they would mix the matchbox cars up with some slightly bigger cars,or if when they are playing they will play with the matchbox cars along with some slightly bigger cars, she will always tell them that those cars can't be played with together. Why not? They are using their imagination, and they are happy and content, things always get picked up and put away in the end. I do like your idea of showing them how to sort things though, transition time is in a few weeks,so we will definitely have to try this with the new group. She also does not believe that kids can be ADHD either, she always believes that the parents do not discipline enough, while I agree with her a lot of kids get labeled wrongly or to quickly, there are kids that truly do have issues.
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Old 08-04-2012, 09:54 AM
 
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I do have to say a lot of parents do not discipline enough, however, I have had kids who have ADHD!!!

I agree that it might be hard to have kids get it exactly right where certain cars get mixed with other cars. That is ridiculous that she doesn't let them play with different toys at the same time. If they are out to play with, the kids are going to play with them...

I still think I would let her go through in the morning and fix any of their mess ups, because it would help them to see where it actually belongs, plus it doesn't hurt. Sounds like she has some OCD. Maybe she needs a para to help her get through the day.

And, yes, you should try the sorting thing. I just started doing this the last couple years and it really helps for the kids to organize. If one or two kids don't get it, there are others who go around fixing things, so I don't have to!
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Old 08-04-2012, 01:22 PM
 
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Believe me, she does go through her ritual of checking and making sure things are where she wants them several mornings a week. On occasion I have left a pen or pencil out on top of her desk, only to have her come in and pick it up and throw it toward the pencil can on the corner of her desk and comment about how she does not like things left out, if the radio is turned off as much as five minutes before she leaves by me, she will turn it right back on. I know how ridiculous this sounds, but it helps to vent. While she is there, the kids are not allowed to mix any toys, once she leaves the afternoon staff helper and I actually enjoy the last few hours of the day.
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Old 08-04-2012, 03:30 PM
 
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Well if she thinks ADHD is is not a real disease then you will not be able to convince this woman of anything she doesn't believe in. You can try to tell her that there is physical evidence that shows the difference in the brain of a child with ADHD and a child without it.

As far as the room cleaning goes.....
I do agree things should be kept organized because it really is necessary to have organized shelves and bins or the kids will be overwhelmed and not play with anything. They will end up roaming around the room instead of playing.

HOWEVER, no 3 year old should be brought to tears in a classroom by the teacher. If she showed them and finished on her own that would be one thing. But to have them cleaning for a half an hour and in tears is just WRONG! Start telling parents of the children who are made to clean up for an unrealistic amount of time that their child was upset about it. (They have a right to know what's going on). I would especially tell the parent if a child was brought to tears. Encourage the parents to speak to whoever is the director that they hand their check to each month. See how fast things will change.


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Old 08-04-2012, 04:25 PM
 
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Thanks everybody for all the suggestions, I will definitely be trying some. I will try to let the post rest now, I just reread them and I sound like a broken record.....but it helps to vent.
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Old 08-06-2012, 07:09 PM
 
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I agree with tfspreschool...if the director/supervisor is not going to remedy this issue then there is obvious managment issues as well as issues with this teacher and parents need to know. As a mother-I would be OUTRAGED with this. As a teacher, I'm flabbergasted. This woman needs to go...she has no bizz working with kids. Perhaps suggest to her she needs to go into the organization business??
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