7 students without an assistant ??

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by always_learning, Jul 5, 2008.

  1. always_learning

    always_learning Rookie

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    I have taught a threes classroom for 3 years and applied this year to teach the all day fours room. Unfortunately I didn't receive the classroom and told I was going to teach the twos. (We have had a low enrollment and we lost one threes room.) I received an email from our director stating she had enough children sign up for a new three day fours and I can have it. The kicker is there are currently 7 students so they can't afford an assistant. We are a small church based preschool.

    I am beginning to panic. The director claims she will also be a floating aid to save money. :( How do I even begin to keep my room under control? Is this something I would want to undertake?
     
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  3. sevenplus

    sevenplus Connoisseur

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    I may not have any business answering, since I haven't taught preschool in a long time, but as a kindergarten teacher with sometimes as many as 26 students and only a half-time assistant, 7 students sounds glorious to me and I'd tackle that by myself in a heartbeat.

    I'm not up on current ratio requirements for preschool, though. I taught the 4's about 10 years ago. I can't remember how many students we had, but I think it was in the 12-14 range with two teachers in the room.
     
  4. always_learning

    always_learning Rookie

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    I hear you completely! I know from being in my children's Kinder rooms the ratios are crazy. I guess when I think of young four and five year olds I cringe. :unsure:
     
  5. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    In Pre-K in our public school, we have 20 with an aide. In K, we have 26-29, with NO aid at all -- ever! So 7 sounds cool to me. I'm sure it is much more intensive at that age, however. I think I'd want to know from the owner exactly what percentage of the time she'd be "floating" in my classroom. That might help you to make the decision.
     
  6. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    I am also in a public PreK (4s) and I have 20 kids, minimum. Last year, because of a couple of emergency cases, we went up to 23. Yes, we have an aide, but I'd jump on 7 without an aide after dealing with 23!

    Kim
     
  7. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    Are they all toilet trained?
     
  8. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    I'd be more concerned about an adequate social group with 7 kids! I hope the management is ok for you. I had 18 and 2 teachers when I taught pre-school before.
     
  9. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    I think 7 fours will be quite manageable. When I taught pre-school I had 20 kids ages 3 through 5 and a co-teacher. Sometimes we broke the class into two sets of 10, but usually it was the two of us and the 20 kids all together. I think if you focus on your classroom set up having a few different "areas" that will help a lot. So two or three kids can play in the block areas while two or three are doing an art project (focus on process oriented art instead of project art and they'll be real independent) while two or three are reading a book and two or three are doing a table activity and so on. You definitely don't need all seven doing the same thing at the same time. Sure you'll do "circle time" together, but other than that I think the more simultaneous areas you have going on, the easier it will be. Just make sure the kids do the clean up (with guidance of course) and not you!

    The one thing I would worry about is if the ratio for 4's is 1:10 in your state, you can end up with more than the 7 you have been told and just have to deal with it. Seven I see as manageable without much of a problem. Being by yourself daily with 10 will be much more tiring.

    Also, is there a bathroom the kids can use without you having to walk the child to it? meaning, do you have to take all 7 to the potty if one has to go? That would get old real fast!

    Personally I think 7 four year olds is better than any amount of two you'd have! I did twos for a year and when I switched to pre-school I really enjoyed the older age.
     
  10. Taliesin

    Taliesin Rookie

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    7 sounds like an ideal amount of 4's to me. I had 8 4's last school year and currently have 10 for the summer. The ratio here is 1:10. I would definitely choose that over 2's.
     
  11. MsWK

    MsWK Habitué

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    I had 8 2s by myself my first year teaching. (Ouch.) I would LOVE to have 7 4s by myself. It sounds like heaven. (FWIW, our 4s ratio in D.C. is 1:10 (though we do have 2:12). You just have to be really intentional about setting the expectations, teaching them to play in centers without assistance while you're doing small groups, going to the bathroom alone, serving meals family-style, how to stay quiet at naptime if they're not sleeping, etc. Your success will depend on the expectations you set up the first week. Good luck, I think it sounds like fun! :)
     
  12. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    I have 12 (infant to 12yrs)at peak times, and 6 often when our schoolers are at the neighborhood school.

    I like it both ways. The 7-10 3/4/5's would be great in a room that is set up for play/work centers. Housekeeping/dramatic play, blocks, science and so on. 7-10 after you get used to each other would offer enough children for pairs and other groupings while still allowing enough room for "single play" as well.

    I agree-where is the bathroom? Handwashing sink and so on. Where will you eat and who brings it? I bet the floater will only be there enough for you to have the mandated breaks and to use the bathroom.

    I didn't always have an aide at all though, so it can be done.

    You will be fine, think design when you do your room. There is a thread here about that and I am sure someone will send you links.
     
  13. teach24iam

    teach24iam Comrade

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    The ratio in PA for 4's is 1:10, so your lucky, again..I taught kindergarten and had 24 by myself one year, and 2 of them were autistic...I only wishI had 7
     
  14. tracer330

    tracer330 Rookie

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    Jul 6, 2008

    during the school year, i have 20 with an aid; since summer has started, my numbers have been extremely low; a lot of the other classrooms have been low, too, so my director sometimes takes my aid and has her go help out wherever she is needed; i love having seven kids; to be perfectly honest, i'm a little bored with it; but i find it much easier to sit with the kids and do projects with them and help them with activities than when i have 20 kids and have to work my way around the room; its also easier to work one-on-one with them when you have fewer kids, which is really important when you're getting them ready for kindergarten; some kids need extra help in certain areas than others and having a small group gives you the time and flexibility to to work with them
     
  15. Joyride

    Joyride Comrade

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    You'd have 7 kids, three days per week? What kind of responsibilities did you have in the 3's room? The worst thing about not having an assistant is maintaining the classroom; especially if you have strict procedures to follow for cleaning. That and trying to find someone to step in so that you can go to the bathroom, get supplies, or tend to a child who had an accident. 4's are very independent. Your ratio is actually 1:12, so you'll be lucky if you even have a floater. Let us know if you need some help thinking of ways to set up the classroom. (What are the director's expectations? What is the daily schedule?) It sounds like you haven't worked in a full day classroom before. Is that correct? Good luck! :)
     
  16. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    I feel moved to remind everyone that what classload you can handle has a lot to do with your attitude, experience and intentions. What was easy by the end of the year, or years, may not have been so easy on the first day. Or the day of your worst morning at home.

    I think by the end of the year, you will be as confident as everyone else is here. Just take their advice (ie, how to design the room) and jump in with a smile and some wonderful transitional ideas. Be ready to move with the class, and watch for them to move to you. You will be fine, just tell yourself that.
     
  17. wig

    wig Devotee

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    I guess I am not understanding your panic. I taught PK for 5 years and did not get an aid unless I was over 12. You'll be fine. I would take 7 4 year olds over 4 2 year olds any day. Bathroom would be my main concern if there was not one in my room.
     
  18. forkids

    forkids Cohort

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    7 four-year-olds does sound like heaven. I teach Pre-K 4s and our ratio is 20 students with 1 teacher and 1 aide.
     
  19. Prekfreak

    Prekfreak Rookie

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    I personally think that 7 4's would be a dream! I have 20 with an aide and have been up to 24 before (nightmare) when teaching 4's. I do agree that the social interaction might be a little strained, but you could alwasy get more kids, especially when school starts.
    As far as the director being a floating aide.... that could be good and bad. I would really make sure that you try to set a schedule on when she floats into your room and if she is going to be gone can she get a sub for herself.
     
  20. skerns

    skerns Companion

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    Jul 7, 2008

    7 students

    I think I understand you to be having 7 -4 year olds??? I will be having 12 without an aid this coming school year. I have had an aid for the last 5 years with 16 kids. They added a threes class and cut mine down to 12. Our ratio is 1:12 here in WV. We are a small private school of 100 kids. But the poor kinder teacher will have 24 with an aid this year.
     
  21. sarzacsmom

    sarzacsmom Groupie

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    My classroom is 8 3 year olds and I have never had an aide-- not even a floater-- we do have a part time floater that does things like photcopying and stocking our paper towels etc, but not an aide inthe classroom-- occassionally I can get the flaoter to stay with the children while I go for a quick run to the potty-- I have not had any trouble keeping my classroom under control. You have to be hard right fromthe start and be firm and consistant with the routine and rules. Assigned seats work well for table times and I did invest in circle time cushions which helped a great deal as it gives them a desgnated space. My rule at circle is bum on cushion and cushion of floor. I don't care if they sit criss cross applesause or not--as long as they sit. It's also real important to break the day up into blocks of time that allow for them to get up and move so the are not sitting too long at a time. Like we do circle, then go to the bathroom and wash up for snack, then they can free play while I clean the tables and get set up for project. As they finsih up their project they can go to the book area and look at books. Then we come back to the tables and sit down for writing practice. When we are done with that we go potty again and then go out to play. When we comein it's lunch time and we eat and potty and have nap. so they get to get up and move around between each block of time. At circle time I do al ot of gross motor like jumping up and down while we say the alphabet and bending over to touch our toes while we say the months --things like that so even though circle is a sitting time theya re getting up and down off their cushions and getting the wiggles out. the key is to be consistant,, firm but nurturing, and keep them busy!
     
  22. always_learning

    always_learning Rookie

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    Aug 17, 2008

    For those who asked: I was in a panic because I personally had never taught w/out an assistant. ;)

    Either way what has happened is that my room now has 10 enrolled with mixed ages. I have 2 three year olds, 7 four year olds and 1 five year old. So they are hiring an assistant for my room.

    Thank you for the awesome suggestions that were posted!!
     
  23. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    I am glad it all worked out. Are you doing ok??
     
  24. wig

    wig Devotee

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    That is quite a developmental age spread. I am glad you have an assistant. Best of luck this year.
     
  25. always_learning

    always_learning Rookie

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    Thank you both! :hugs: I am doing fine and now I am in rush mode. We have open house Wed and I am trying to finish my room. I will admit I am nervous about the developmental age span. We will just have to limit our group time I guess.
     
  26. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Are you kidding? 7 three year olds? I'd be embarassed to ask for an aide.
     
  27. always_learning

    always_learning Rookie

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    It was actually 7 four year olds and I have explained my reason why I was nervous. Thank you for taking time to post ;)
     
  28. MOM1TEACHER2

    MOM1TEACHER2 Rookie

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    I have taught for the past 8 years with up to 14 students in each of my 4 classes without an aide. We have a floating aide and the director to call on if needed. It can be done, don't panic, don't think of the numbers. Here our ratio is 1 to 14 4 and 5's and 1 to 12 2 and 3's.
     
  29. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    I love age spans like that

    I have the age spread. I have one idea for you. When we have group time, we just keep talking and working and announce that the "tinies", "pre-preschoolers", "tots" what ever you name that group - can go when they are done. So as you are working at calendar you scoot the tinies behind the line and hand them an age appt toy to work with. Then the circle turns into beanbag or something large motor so they will come back, then fine and they fade, then large and the return and so on. In the beginning they will roam and rip, but after a while they should settle down.

    Really, you can use snack as group time too,and then they don't roam.

    I like the age span they learn so much from each other.:hugs::peace::clap:
     
  30. TeachWildThings

    TeachWildThings Comrade

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    I'm actually surprized about no aide because in CA ratios for 0-3 are 1:4 & 3-5 are 1:6. At kinder it jumps 1:20. Actually at any state/public prek or infant/toddler program they always have 2 people. The reasoning is: if something happens to the teacher a 5 yr old will know to get help, anyone younger, especially under 3 may not. However, I have been in my class with up to six kids under 3 (all special needs) w/out a sub asst. Most times I'll go combine with another class so I can have help w/changing.
     
  31. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    When I did pre-school we had threes through fives in one room, twenty kids in total and two teachers. I also loved having the age spread. The threes can learn from the fives, and the fives love being the big kids.

    Great circle time suggestions!

    Always-learning - good luck with your year. I think you're going to really enjoy it!
     
  32. Beverly

    Beverly Comrade

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    That's very unusual. I think most states have ratios near 1:10 for 3 year olds.
     
  33. Dzenna

    Dzenna Groupie

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    The ratio for 3 and 4 year olds in California is 12 to 1
     
  34. Beverly

    Beverly Comrade

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    *Wonders if "CA" is Canada in this case* :)
     
  35. sarzacsmom

    sarzacsmom Groupie

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    Ratio here in NH --
    infants 1:4
    toddlers (1year -18 months) 1:5
    toddlers (18months -2years) 1:5
    toddlers (24 months to 3 years) 1:6
    3 year olds 1:8
    4 year olds 1:10
    5 year olds 1:15
     
  36. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    I am in WA and I have heard that Canda has a great deal of work and professionalism dedicated to their early education environments. I wouldn't be suprised but that the listed numbers were for Canada.
     
  37. wann2119

    wann2119 Rookie

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    I have 8 3 yr olds and no aid. 2 of them are in pull ups full time, 1 more wears them at nap. I was completely freaked out about how I would manage it all. I've been doing it for a month, and it is easy! You figure out what works and what doesn't work. You get a system down.
     
  38. msj

    msj Companion

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    I understand...I'll have 8 3 and 4's this year and will not have an aid for the first time. I have to change my whole way of doing things because I liked to split the class into 2 groups (one with me, one with the aid) and get more done that way. Now I can't do that. Also I have no bathroom in my classroom so everytime a child needs to use the bathrrom I have to take the entire class down the hall to the bathroom. I'm also the only class in the building. The rest of the building is fitness stuff so I have no one to step in for me in case of emergency unless I page on of the fitness attendents and they come to the class. I'm not thrilled about this.
     
  39. PennStateCutie

    PennStateCutie Companion

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    I have taught Kindergarten for 3 years (with as many as 23 students at one time) and preschool for 2 years and I've never had an aide in my classroom. Really, 7 students is a super-manageable number and honestly, when you get down to it, I would rather have the kids to myself and not have to rely on someone to enforce my rules and routines for the kids...especially if they're not very good at their job, they sometimes just end up being an extra body in the classroom. If you're really worried about it, see if you can get in touch with some parents/grandparents/church members who could volunteer their time a couple of hours a week.
     
  40. MOM1TEACHER2

    MOM1TEACHER2 Rookie

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    I agree totally with Pennstate, oh to have just 7 sometimes!
     

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