your thoughts please or advice

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by pabef, Feb 10, 2011.

  1. pabef

    pabef Comrade

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    Feb 10, 2011

    I have recently given up my director's postion and gone back to teaching 4 year-olds. I am having so much fun and a lot less stressed! It has been a while since I have taught, but I have kept up with new ideas and subbed in the classrooms over the years. My problem is this - I am trying to balance what our school system requires the children to know for kindergarten with what I know is developmentaly appropriate for 4 year-olds. I want them to visit learning centers and to "play and learn." I feel like a do a good job of implementing learning games and activities in the centers that focus on the necessary skills for kindergarten, while letting the children have fun. However, I have a parent that continues (every week) to send me a folder of learning activities that she has created. She also has her daughter make me things as a hint of activities she thinks I should be doing with the children. My director says that she feels that I am doing an excellent job. She thinks I should not get upset about this parent and treat it as an effort to help out. The thing is that even though I think some of her activities are great, I have not used them because of the sneaky way she presents them and her attitude about my teaching abilities. I have just put them up and will probably use them next year or pass them on to someone else. Any thoughts? How would you feel if a parent continually sent you what I think are basically my lessons each week?
     
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  3. forkids

    forkids Cohort

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    Feb 10, 2011

    I would be aggravated about it too, but probably the best plan of action is too just put them up like you are doing. Try to think of it as a good(free) resource. Maybe you could appease her and let her know that you have a curriculum and lesson plans and will not do as she wants at the same time: choose an activity you like and write her a note saying something like this - I like your activity for _____. I was able to find time for it in my lesson plan for next week. Maybe send home handouts about developmentally appropriate learning in Pre-K and make sure she gets them.
     
  4. forkids

    forkids Cohort

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    Feb 10, 2011

    I had a parent once who came to orientation talking about how he wanted his son to learn, among other ridiculous things for a 4-year-old, division and multipication. I very professionally explained how our program uses develepmentally-appropriate, hands-on learning techniques and suggested that perhaps our program was not what he was interested in for his son. Since the other preschool programs in our area are paid and ours is state funded and free, he shut up and I didn't hear any more about it. Oh yes, his son turned out to be a very sweet, but very average/slightly below average learner, isn't that the way it usually is with this kind of parents? Poor kids to have these unrealistic expectations put on them.
     
  5. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Feb 11, 2011

    As a parent who loves to help, I can see myself sending ideas to the teacher. Be kind, it takes a few years to learn that not everyone is interested in your ideas.
     
  6. TeacherApr

    TeacherApr Groupie

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    Feb 11, 2011

    I would never cross the line and do something like that to a teacher. It's not appropriate. forkids had some wonderful ways of dealing with the situation.
     
  7. Pre-K Teacher 1

    Pre-K Teacher 1 Comrade

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    Feb 12, 2011

    In Head Start, parent input in curriculum is encouraged and required! We encourage parents to share their ideas and to have input in the curriculum. Parents complete a curriculum survey and we ask for their suggestions. During orientation, we show them the curriculum we use and encourage them to share their ideas of what they would like to see included in each week's theme. There is acutally a spot for this on our weekly lesson plan.

    We do let parents know that we have to adhere to developmentally appropriate practices. We share lots of information about what this means throughout the year. Some parent's get it, some don't! For those parents that don't, we thank them for their input. We have become very skilled at showing how we can use their idea in a different way. For example, some want to give us workbooks, but when we take the time to explain and show how children get the same information in a hands-on way, they usually respond positively. These are the ones we get to help us make learning games and materials for the class.

    I would put this parent to work for me! You have an eager parent who seems eager to provide assistance. She can help with weekly prep. She would probably respond positively if you asked her to help you in this manner. Get her on your side. She may be your biggest asset!
     
  8. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Feb 12, 2011

    I might be put-off too, but she probably thinks of it as just helping, realizing that you already have a lot on your plate, and not enough time. Who knows her intentions exactly, but I think if you keep them up, and maybe even use one or two of them if they seem good, then that is enough to keep things comfortable between the two of you. After all, you are educating her child, and you don't want your relationship damaged.
     
  9. pabef

    pabef Comrade

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    Feb 12, 2011

    Thanks for the great advice all! I did use a couple of her ideas this week. I wrote a note on her daughter's daily sheet thanking her for the ideas and and telling her that parent involvement is encouraged. I did ask her to please coordinate with me, as many of our ideas and materials were duplicated and I would hate for her to waste her time and colored ink on things I already made of a similar nature.
     

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