A bit overwhelmed!

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by nvkteacher, Nov 19, 2006.

  1. nvkteacher

    nvkteacher New Member

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    Nov 19, 2006

    I am beginning to wonder if I am going to make it this year. I am glad I have found a place to vent to people who probably know what I am going through. I just finished student teaching last May and was offered a full day Kinder position. It is a great school so I took it even though I was hoping more for 2nd-3rd grade. I was then changed to the am/pm kinder teacher and I was given 34 am students and 36 pm students without an aide. I am not sure if this is typical or not but I am going crazy just trying to survive. I am there early and stay until at least 7:00 each night. I loved the idea of teaching but this is not what I was expecting. I was forced into signing a two year contract so I am stuck. I have parents who are a bit upset that I haven't had parent volunteers in my room but honestly I haven't had time to type out a volunteer calendar and I am also a bit embarrassed to have them in my classroom as it is often chaotic and I am not sure how to control this large number of students even though I have a behavior management. program and set rules. Well I would love to hear any suggestions or stories of similar situations as I feel completely overwhelmed and I do not feel as though I can vent at work.
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Nov 19, 2006

    I'm secondary math, so I have little to offer, but here goes:

    1. You need help. My kids had 21 kids in their kindergarten class. I've had your numbers, but in a secondary setting-- a totally different thing. I think you need those parents ASAP. You had time to type this-- type out the volunteer calendar today, send it out tomorrow and have help for after Thanksgiving.

    2. Give us more specifics. What, exactly, are the problems? Is it that the kids aren't following your rules? Is it their varied academic background? Give us more info, then type out your calendar. You'll be on solid footing by tomorrow.
     
  4. Lesley

    Lesley Habitué

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    Nov 19, 2006

    How many kids are in the all day program? Have you talked with anyone about your class size and needing an aide? you need to get the parent calendar set asap. Yes, it is work to get it together, but in the end it will help you-as long as the parents actually help. Have you or do you have a union rep to talk to about class size limits? Have any parents complained about the class size? If they are not happy, you need to let them know that they need to push for help ( be it an aide or another teacher to lighten your load), They have to bug administration until something happens, as they will get results way before you will.
     
  5. hescollin

    hescollin Fanatic

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    Nov 19, 2006

    Yes your class size is to big.

    Take the time to get your parents helping. They can cut out things for you. Copy. Work with students.

    You need help.

    Today type a letter asking if and when as a parent they can come help you? and send it home Monday and put it together over break.
     
  6. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Nov 19, 2006

    I know how you feel about getting parent volunteers in the classroom. I have a tough class this year, but I still asked for as many parent volunteers as possible because I know that it will make my life easier. I also keep them very busy. Throughout the week, I collect things for my parent volunteer to do, glue paper onto construction backing and hang it up on my bulletin board, work with a small group on learning math or alphabet letters, work on a art project, put books together, put journals together, cut materials for an art project, get materials ready for a math project, clean something up. Give them things that are not on your high priority list so that you won't have to stay at work till 7 every night. Last year was my first year and I made it a priority to get home by 4 sometimes 5. I knew that if I want to stay sane, I need to leave the classroom and pursue my own interests (reading, playing guitar, etc). It's hard, but if you got those parent volunteers in, it will make a big difference. Also, are you having a hard time because of the class size. That is amazing, 34 and 36 kids. That does not sound right. I have 20 and they're driving me crazy :) But, if your school is any like mine, the admin will not care. Just do your best, stay positive, stay consinstent with your behavior management plan, and get those parents in there. If they are angry that they haven't been able to come in and help, then really, use them!! I have a hard time just getting 2 parents in my classroom!
     
  7. nvkteacher

    nvkteacher New Member

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    Nov 19, 2006

    Thanks for listening and I did start a calendar last night so hopefully that will help. I know the parents can help I just have had my hands full so we will see. I am in a school district that can not find enough teachers (las vegas) to keep up with the growth so there is not a chance that I will get an aide. I am thinking about contacting my union rep to see if there is something that I can do. Well thank you for the help and I will try the parent help first.
     
  8. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Nov 19, 2006

    When I was getting ready to graduate, I've heard that Nevada, Las Vegas was the place to go to get a job, but I wasn't ready for the big move. But, I didn't realize that it was that bad!!
     
  9. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    Nov 19, 2006

    Those numbers are outrageous! Parents realize that too, and that is why they are angry....not at you.....but at the numbers! Let them help. Parent volunteers should NOT mean more work for you setting up things for them to do. If done right, it can alleviate your workload greatly! How much are you doing with small groups, centers, etc? Give us an idea of how your am/pm runs...we may be able to give you some ideas for management, and how you can incorporate volunteers into your day.
    I cannot IMAGINE a classroom with that many children and only one teacher.....it is NOT conducive to learning no matter how good of a teacher you are.
     
  10. hescollin

    hescollin Fanatic

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    Nov 19, 2006

    In your note ask for their e mail address and ask if it is ok to send messages to them by e mail. Much faster than phoning.
     
  11. roxiekf

    roxiekf New Member

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    Nov 19, 2006

    YOU NEED HELP!!! Here is a thought. Rather than trying to coordinate your volunteers yourself, designate a parent volunteer coordinator. That person's job would be to contact and schedule volunteers in the room. All you would have to do is tell her what times you need help and for which subject.

    I do this and it works very well. My VC (volunteer coordinator) schedules people for guided reading, math and spelling tests. I don't have to do anything except let her know what dates and times help is needed. She organizes this by quarters and sends me the schedule. If I have a change of plans, I send her a note or call her, and she contacts the parents and lets them know. She also takes care of the "party" organization, as well as, any other needs that may come up throughout the year.

    This would make your life easier and be one less thing you have to do.

    Good luck.
     
  12. MissWilliams

    MissWilliams Rookie

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    Nov 27, 2006

    Those class sizes, especially in K, are outrageous.

    Yes, talk to union, yes, have parents advocate for you.

    Meanwhile, get parents in there!! Explain what you need, what your goal is. Delegate the leadership. It can only help you out...you have to manage what time you have effectively. Hopefully you'll have some parent personality & talent blessings arrive your way.;)

    Good luck, and glad you found a way to vent!
     
  13. vmaguirr

    vmaguirr New Member

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    Nov 27, 2006

    That is a lot of kids!

    Wow, that is a lot of kids. You have to remember that you are one person and you can only do so much! You go in every day and do the best that you can! Then you can leave each day knowing that YOU put in a 100%.

    Something I have found that works is parent volunteers.
    Start by sending home a letter stating the days times you would like parent volunteers. For example:

    (M,W,F) 10:30-11:30 for guided reading
    (F) 2:30-3:30 for Math

    (I always add at the bottom...)

    __ Please check if you are willing to cut, bind and laminate either at home or at school.

    Have parents sign up for dates and times. Then write out who can come on Mondays, Wednesdays, etc. so that it's easy to reference to when you are making your calendar.

    Then make a calendar to send home to those parents so they know what day and time they are supposed to volunteer.

    It seems like a lot of work, but I do a monthly calendar. It does get easier. Plus, it's nice to know what mom or dad is coming on what days. On those days at that times you can plan your centers or hands-on activites. On days you have no extra help, teach more in a whole group setting.

    The calendar can be a pain to make every month. But the help is definatley worth it! It's also a nice way to form relationships with the parents.

    Good Luck!
     

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