Need help in Two year old room

Discussion in 'Early Childhood Education Archives' started by Ulta, Nov 17, 2006.

  1. Ulta

    Ulta New Member

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    Nov 17, 2006

    I really need some suggestions. I work in a class with TWENTY two year olds. I've been in this room for four years so I'm no new puppy to the trials and tribulations of two year olds but things are different now. I'm losing my co-teacher that I've been working with for three years! We work together so well and I am distraught at this. So my classroom is completely overloaded with kids and I'm going to soon have a new teacher working with me. Because of the number of kids in my room, the environment is chaotic to say the least. It's really a struggle everyday to just get their physical needs met, much less their emotional and educational needs. And if anyone here has worked with twos before, they'll know that two's can get really out of hand when a new teacher is in the room. They tend to "forget" rules and completely take advantage of the situation. I feel like I'm not going to be able to bare this!
    So, what I was hoping for is some organizational and discipline advice that I can really use in a class this big. There are only two teachers and for the next few weeks I'm pretty much going to be on my own (new teacher). Please help before I decide to go work in a grocery store!!
     
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  3. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Nov 17, 2006

    The novelty of a new teacher MIGHT work to your advantage. It's like getting a new pet. Everybody wants to take care of it and is totally enthralled. I don't have experience with 2 year olds except my own so I can't help you beyond that. Try singing some repetitive songs (on many occasions) when things get a little wild. Get a drum and beat it a few times and have that be your signal for you are gonna sing some songs (and invite them to try to sing along). It'll be shaky at first, but they will learn. SOngs bring kids together and calms them down (or revs them up..depending on the song). SOngs can be attached to activities like cleaning up. It has to be taught and repeated though. It takes a bit for 2 year olds to catch on.

    As far as being by yourself, you will surprise yourself. I am an aide under a 5 year teacher. This is her first year "alone." I tend to do a lot of "teacher like" duties but for the most part she has really taken it to the next level. She started out looking stressed, but she not only got the hang of it, she had the opportunity to put her own stamp on things for all the curriculum agendas and not just the ones she did because that was her expert area.

    As far as discipline and organization, the best thing you can do is keep them BUSY and watch transition areas. Write down your problem areas and see if you can pinpoint solutions.
     
  4. Joyride

    Joyride Comrade

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    Nov 17, 2006

    I still don't understand why there would be 20 in the same room, and we would have to have 3 teachers with that number here. The most that I have ever worked with at one time at this age is 16.

    Get in touch with the new teacher before she starts, if possible. You can discuss transitions, discipline, and expectations for what you want the kids to do themselves. That should alleviate some of the problems with a new teacher coming in. What parts of your schedule are your biggest concern? What is your curriculum/schedule? I might have some tips if you can explain a little bit more about your routines.
     
  5. TanyaLynn

    TanyaLynn Rookie

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    Nov 17, 2006

    Wow, that is A LOT. Here in WI, the state requirement is one teacher per every six two-year-olds. I really don't know how you could do 20 two-year-olds with only two people, especially if a lot of them aren't potty trained. I'm not really sure what to say. =/ I would really just try to keep things normal, even with the new teacher. Explain that they are to treat her just like they did the old teacher. (I know, explaining that to a two-year-old is like peeing in the wind) Goodluck
     
  6. Joyride

    Joyride Comrade

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    Nov 17, 2006

    Two things- what's the range for your ratio, out of curiousity? Is that 24 mos - 36 mos, or are there younger children in those classrooms?

    And second- "peeing in the wind" LOL ;)
     
  7. TanyaLynn

    TanyaLynn Rookie

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    Nov 18, 2006

    Two-year-olds are classified as between 24 mos and 36 mos of age. There aren't any younger children in my room usually, but occasionally there is. We have a 19 month old who is extremely gifted and at a two-year-old learning level, so sometimes when I have under 3 two-year-olds she'll come in. No more though because state requirment is one teacher per every 4 babies and she is still classified as a baby, therefore I can't have any more than three two-year-olds. I have mostly younger two's though, basically around 26-28 months and some of them are still at a babyish type level, so maybe that's why I can't fathom TWENTY two-year-olds.
     
  8. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    Nov 18, 2006

    To be exact...the ratio in WI is 1:6 for 2 year olds and 1:8 for 2 1/2 year olds. ;) There is a difference when the age reaches 2 1/2. Then it goes to 1:10 when they are 3. You can also go off the point system to figure out what percentage you are at. Each child is given so many points for their age and if you go over 100% you are over. So, you may be able to have 3 two year olds and 4 two 1/2 year olds and still be in ratio. It's in the handbook near the back in case you were curious. :D And actually, Tanya, you could have more than 3 other children with a baby when going off the point system. Actually, based on the point system (prorated) you can have 4 two year olds with the toddler you mentioned. :) Just an FYI.

    20 two year olds is NUTS!

    The only thing I can think of is structure structure structure! Two year olds and all children need structure. If given enough of it they will more consistantly listen to rules and be able to follow them. It keeps them busy and less chance for chaos. Even my two year old room teachers have always had a curriculum. Heck, even my toddlers teachers always have had a curriculum. All kids need structure. But, I'm sure you already know that.

    I still can't think of 20 2 year olds in one room. That just seems nuts to me.
     
  9. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    Nov 18, 2006

    Twenty 2-year-olds?! Wow, that is incredible. I jsut looked it up and in Calif, the required ratio is 1:12 for children 2-6 years old. That sounds like too many kids/adult to me, but I guess that's the rule. 1:20, or even 2:20 sounds maddening. You have my best wishes and good luck :)
     
  10. Joyride

    Joyride Comrade

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    Nov 18, 2006

    Ok, that's making more sense to me. I found it bizarre how different the ratios seemed to be in some states lol
     
  11. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    Nov 18, 2006

    I find it interesting how high some are. Makes me even more happy to be where I am. Some of them are so extreme...yikes!:eek:
     
  12. Ulta

    Ulta New Member

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    Nov 18, 2006

    Thanks for the reponse. I'm glad to see that It's not just me that thinks 20 is too many. In January the ratio will decrease by one. That is, the ratio will will be 1:9. And then it will go down by one over the course of the next several years. In 2010, I believe it will be 1:7. That will be great if I'm still alive by then:)
     
  13. tm91784

    tm91784 Comrade

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    Nov 19, 2006

    Wow, that is a high ratio. When I worked in PA, I had 6 two yr olds to myself and I thought that was a lot!
     
  14. Miss Jana

    Miss Jana Rookie

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    Nov 19, 2006

    I'm not sure what our ratios in Texas are these days, but back in the 80's and 90s, I was a two year old lead teacher for several years. Our ratio was 11:1 for twos, but if there were at least 5 who are already 3, the ratio was 13:1. I taught for several years with 24 kids and another teacher to help me. We had a nice big room, so it wasn't too bad. We had a lot of centers, so once everyone was playing around the room, it didn't seem like that many. We had a good routine going, too, so Ulta, I can understand you being devastated about losing your "right hand".... Lunch/nap is going to be the hardest transition times, so you'll just have to be on your toes.

    I have three pieces of advise you can consider:

    1) I agree that the new teacher will be a novelty for a while. I wouldn't expect the kids to necessarily do everything she says, but you could use it to your advantage by making her seem like "the wonderful new edition to you room".

    2) Include the new teacher as much as possible. If you have any kind of group times where the kids are all sitting down listening to a story, or singing songs, don't have the other teacher away from you doing clean up or anything like that for the first couple of weeks. Make sure she's right there with you and the kids. That will help them see her as part of the family quicker.

    3) It's a good idea to try to meet with her beforehand and talk, but if your situation is like mine was, there wasn't ever time to do that. Just make sure she understands that for a while, you'll need to give her suggestions of what you need until she gets used to the room. Then, don't be afraid to respectfully ask her to help you with anything you need. Be specific and don't assume she has any idea what to do. It's hard to be new to a room. As the kids hear you asking her for help, it'll help them see her as another person who is there to help them. Utilize her talents... if you see her not engaged in doing anything in the classroom (like if she's sort of standing on the sidelines), she probably just doesn't know what you need her to do, so if you see her not engaged, give her something to do. She'll appreciate it in the long run, as long as you are respectful when you ask and she doesn't feel like you are barking orders to her. Just tell her in advance that you'll be doing that for a couple of weeks until she "knows the ropes", but that you are equally willing to listen to any suggestions she has for helping things run smoothly as well.

    I hope it goes well for you. Let us know! :)

    Jana
     
  15. Ulta

    Ulta New Member

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    Nov 20, 2006

    Thank you for your input. I'm feeling better about the situation after reading everyone's comments and some reevaluation. I guess my next problem will be helping my boss to find someone who isn't going to want to be in charge. That's been a problem in the past with new teachers. I know ya'll know what I mean. The one's that basically want to have your job and your hours and do what they can to summarily get rid of you. Hopefully I'll find someone right for me and the class!
     

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