A new co-teacher... how do i work with her

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by MuckeyBusiness, Mar 2, 2008.

  1. MuckeyBusiness

    MuckeyBusiness Companion

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    Mar 2, 2008

    I opened my classroom by myself in Decemeber. I have not had a co-teacher since then and I have a co-teacher starting tomorrow and i'm kind of nervous about it. She was with me last week for a few hours in the morning 3 days and I really liked her. She has openly told me she does not like "disciplining" the kids and I noticed that a lot last week. I have one little girl who is very hyper and she's been hitting and pushing a lot latley. Last week every time she pushed someone or hit somesone my co-teacher brought her to me and told mee she did something. After a few times I told her that she can't do thast every time and I need her help in doing this or else it's going to turn into good cop bad cop. She attempted after that but I still had to step in a few times because the little girl wasn't listening.

    I also had her serve lunch the other day and her serving sizes were way too big. I didn't explain that before hand because she had worked in 2 different daycares before and I thought she could handle it. After lunch I explained the serving sizes and all that and hopefully she'll do better next week.

    My major question is how do I add her into the classroom smoothly with all the classroom planning and just running everything smoothly. I'm very nervous about that and she is 18 with a 1 1/2 year old and seems to be very quiet. Should I sit down with her and talk with her.... i'm just so confused!
     
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  3. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Do bring it up casually when you have some sort of sit down planning meeting. Hash out your behavior plans. Tell her you appreciate that she does not like to discipline children but maybe she can explain why. What is her philosophy? Do this first so that you can be respectful of any opinions she might have on the subject. If she just isn't good at it or hates the aftermath you need to be assertive and explain that you don't want this to turn into a good cop bad cop situation but you are willing to work out a behavior plan you can both do. Emphasize that you are here for the kids and part of that is to ensure that they have an environment that contributes to an optimal learning experience for everyone. Being that she is young, she may need tips. She may be unsure of herself.

    I have the good cop/bad cop thing going now and it's definately not my preference. I'm the aide.
     
  4. MuckeyBusiness

    MuckeyBusiness Companion

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    any tips on how to make her transition into the classroom a smooth one with responsibilities with me and her splitting them and all that
     
  5. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    The biggest thing is to ask for her feedback or thoughts and get her thinking and contributing while making her feel valued. Try to promote yourself as an open book. Talk through your processes. Be accepting if she has something to say even if it isn't what you believe or wanted to hear. The bottom line is to get her involved and make sure that she feels supported so that when you do sit down and something comes up, it isn't just another critical thing.

    Most of us don't openly criticize people all the time but it can still feel that way if we don't say enough positive stuff.

    Create a cooperative environment where both of you talk through issues equally and compromise. This way she doesn't feel she has to always follow the more experienced teacher. That's a common issue I've heard around my building with new teachers is feeling intimidated and like the older teachers are as accepting of new ideas. You have a right to reject an idea that is lousy but do make sure you accept enough of her ideas so she feels reassured and more willing to listen when you do shine a voice of experience. It sucks but you might have to be more of a mentor for a while and at the same time let her find her own place.

    As far as transitioning... You might have a meeting about that. Ask her what her strengths are and what she would like to do or teach. Go from there. Talk through as many things as you can up front. Let her know she can come to you if she would like to try another area or feel it isn't working for her. Just make sure you don't just take over and leave her thinking it is okay to sit back and do the smaller things.

    I'm not speaking from direct experience though. SO you may want to wait and see what others say. You are too funny though. My teacher does the exact same thing you just did. I gave advice but it wasn't specific (and really still isn't) and the first thing you did was say, "What would you do?" She tells me that all the time and I have to really think. That's an excellent strategy.
     
  6. japanesemacaque

    japanesemacaque Rookie

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    I just joined a new school as a co-teacher. Here are some things the other teacher did that really helped me feel comfortable:

    -She took the time to formally introduce me to as many parents as she could (some of them were sneaky) and to the kids, and let it be known that I was a new teacher, just like her, and I knew all the rules, etc.

    -After observing 1 day of circle time, she let me do circle time for the first 2 weeks so the kids would get really used to hearing my voice

    -She let me lead the kids to and from the cafeteria and playground

    -And she asked me lots of questions about myself, really tried to get to know me as a person, and asked about my previous experience and THEN, thought of ways to incorporate that experience into this one.

    Now, I think I'm a lot more assertive than your assistant is, because I have no problem with jsut jumping in and talking to kids and singing to them and the like. See if she has any special talents or things she LOVES to do with kids (some teachers love art, others music, etc) and let her plan a lesson for that subject. As far as the discpline goes, she may just need a good mentor. When I was 18 I didn't know the first thing about disciplining a 4-year-old! Maybe she doesn't either. Hope that helps!
     
  7. MuckeyBusiness

    MuckeyBusiness Companion

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    both of you really helped out a lot! Thank you so much!
     
  8. tgpii

    tgpii Comrade

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    Mar 3, 2008

    Is she a teacher or an aid? If she is an aid she should work iwth you but your still

    Is she a teacher or an aid? If she is an aid she should work iwth you but your still the one in charge. I have worked with other teachers/aids. I done both positons myself. IT depends some ais/teachers I leave alone they do a great job. OThers I have to keep on them.
     
  9. MuckeyBusiness

    MuckeyBusiness Companion

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    She is not an aide, she is a teacher just like me. In some centers they have lead and assistant teachers but in our centers we do co-teachers. One does not have more power over one so if one of us are gone both of us know what are going on. But if they were to lable them i would be the lead teacher since she just started.
     
  10. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Mar 8, 2008

    that was awesome! :2up:
     
  11. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    sit down and have a meeting, with the school policy and procedure manual in front of you.

    let's talk about what we do here, what you have done, and how we can learn to work together! :D I think it may be helpful if you just watch me for awhile next week, and if you have any questions..just jot them down and try not to interrupt the lesson. That way, during our prep time, we can discuss what happend, why, and how you would handle it. I appreciate your concern and love to hear your ideas, but..I think it would be better if you get to know the ropes a bit more ...

    don't forget to document that you had this meeting, and follow up with your boss
     
  12. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Master Pre-K, I like the above the aboard approach complete with documentation and professionalism but I would think telling them like it is in too nonsense of a way like that might scare her off. I would suggest a softer side with some of the same vibes. What do you think?
     
  13. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Mar 8, 2008

    ok...but co-teachers can suck big time...

    tell me more...does she have her own class in am or pm or just what is the deal?

    Hey you got a minute? I was hoping we could talk before the kids came in. I know it's been almost a week since you started. Any thing you want to share with me? :D You smile. She mouths off about how lousy you are, or is coy and says nothing..or literally says, No, nothing. I prefer the first one, because people who are mean know they are. Sneaky ones don't admit it. Nasty ones are usually up front. That is another post!

    Let's talk about what we do here, how we can learn to work together! I think it may be helpful if you have any questions..just jot them down and try not to interrupt the lesson. That way, during our prep time, we can discuss what happend, why, and how you would handle it. I appreciate your concern and love to hear your ideas, but..I think it would be better if you get to know the ropes a bit more ...at least that's what my (field based teacher/1st principal, anyone you want to lie about here)


    again, I would say document it. if she continues to be a thorn in your side...see your boss

    sorry to say...I has never worked for me, so far...but there is hope. I believe the right words and good delivery will help, as long as their is solid administration to back you up.
     

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