Do you LOVE teaching pre-k?

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by Teach'em, May 29, 2011.

  1. Teach'em

    Teach'em Companion

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    May 29, 2011

    I may have the opportunity to teach pre-k next year. Big jump from 3rd, I know, but I actually have more experience in pre-k, however not as the main teacher.

    So, I'm wondering if I will would miss the "teaching" aspects of 3rd? I KNOW pre-k is teaching, but I really enjoy a challenge and just want experienced pre-k teachers' to weigh in.

    What do you LOVE about teaching pre-k?

    What do you dislike?

    Oh, and if I do end up teaching pre-k, I plan to teach using The Project Approach/Reggio. Any tips/websites on these would be great, too!

    THANKS!
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Are you excited about this change?
     
  4. Teach'em

    Teach'em Companion

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    Yes, I am! I have my bachelor's and (almost) master's in ECE but haven't had the opportunity to teach it yet. I'm mostly experiencing fear of the unknown I guess... I don't want to take it and wish I was back in 3rd, but then again, I can always change next year.
     
  5. dcnuck

    dcnuck Companion

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    I have taught pre k for six years and really enjoyed it. I would still be teaching that grade if I had my choice but that was out of my control. You have to think about what you say with them===they take everything literally. I used a lot of music with them===teaching motions with it which they enjoy---Jack Hartmann and Dr. Jean are my two favorites. You will be amazed at what they can learn. I had some that were able to read by the end of the school year. I tried to make learning fun but also keeping in mind that in Kindergarten they are expected to learn to read so I emphasized letter recognition and letter sounds. I have been subbing in kindergarten alot and it is amazing what they are doing at that grade level. Have fun with them--I think you will enjoy them---routine is your best bet with age.
     
  6. Rebel1

    Rebel1 Connoisseur

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    May 29, 2011

    I did Pre-K for a looooooooong time. I loved it! They are @ the time of their lives when they can sponge everything into their little minds. This makes it very important that you watch what you say and do ALL THE TIME! You just have to stay 2 clicks ahead of them and remember to MAKE THEIR LEARNING EXPERIENCE FUN! MUSIC is a plus in Pre-K. They will learn and retain a lot of the basics when you teach them with music. These are going to be our future team players and leaders, so give them the best of what you know, be consistent, fair, etc., and JUST BE YOURSELF. Learning together is a lot of fun, and y'all will do just fine. Laugh a lot with them and enjoy it all. The song "GREATEST Love Of All" sums it all up.:hugs:
    They say the funniest things too. I had a kid ask me if God can change his color to my color. I asked him why and he said SO he can be cool like me. While I was trying to explain to him, he asked if I can call God, and he then asked if I had his number. I thought it was the most hillarious thing ever. :lol:Anyway, they come up with the funniest comments.
    I would quit my current job with no questions asked, if
    the school district that I sub for would offer me a Pre-K teaching job for next year. That would be so :cool:.
    Pre-Kinders are the BEST!
    Rebel1:D
     
  7. Teach'em

    Teach'em Companion

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    Thanks dcnuck and Rebel! I know I will like the age, but I just hope I will enjoy the planning and teaching of 4-5 yo's. I guess if you like the age, then you'll automatically like teaching them? I also know many people feel pre-k is just daycare or babysitting all day...which is offensive.
     
  8. Rebel1

    Rebel1 Connoisseur

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    DSIS...Don't sweat it sista!
    Those who think that we are just babysitters, need to GAL...get a life. They're usually the ones who think they know it all. You just KTWK...kill them with kindness and GOWYBS...go on with your bad self! (SMILE!)
    Rebel1
     
  9. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    Hi! Yes, I love Pre-K! I love the way they still experience wonder at the world, have lots of curiosity, still believe in magical things, love their teachers, aren't afraid of being creative, are funny, etc., etc.

    WaProvider is probably the most experienced emergent teacher who posts here. I am in the early, learning stages of this format which is new to me.

    Try Teacher Tom's blog. He has many excellent, creative ideas and links to many other play-based blogs.

    Have fun!
     
  10. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    I LOVE teaching Pre-K. I love the smiles, hugs and the work that they do to accomplish the goals. They don't often slack, or sit back and let the others do the work for them.

    I love the race to stay two steps ahead, I love listening to their play.

    And the number one thing I love is that at this age I am allowed to be the emergent teacher that I know that the kids in my groups need. There are other sorts of valid, wonderful rooms, but my kids aren't assigned to me by boundaries or bus routes....they chose me and my program and they LOVE IT!
     
  11. Miller59

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    May 31, 2011

    I have been teaching PreK for a long time. I love many parts of this work -- that the children are so open and eager to be with me and each other, they are so willing to try new things, to work hard, to trust me and each other.

    Every age has its challenges. In PreK you have all the body stuff -- nose picking, hand licking, shirt chewing. You have can have kids who hit or bite or push. There can be bickering over who gets to be the baby kitty in the kitty game even though you've explained that there can be more than ONE baby kitty a zillion times!!!

    I have 2 more weeks of school and I am very ready for a break. And I love teaching PreK.
     
  12. diggerdeb

    diggerdeb Comrade

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    Jun 5, 2011

    I taught third grade for 8 years and now pre-k for the last 15 years.

    Get ready to adjust at the beginning of the year. Make no assumptions. No they can't walk in a line. You get to teach them. no they can't tie shoes. You get to do it at least a million times a day. No they can't count or say letters but you get the greatest opportunity in the world to teach their sponge like minds.

    Yes, at least one sometimes more will cry. but few will "have an attitude" because pre-k kids usually really love their teacher.

    REST UP! You will need to quickly develop eyes everywhere because a situation can change in an instant.

    When I taught third grade I could take a second while the kids did something quiet at their desk-NOT in pre-k! These children are in constant motion.

    Third grade I had papers to correct and alot of at home stuff. But when I started Pre-K my hubby was amazed by how little I brought home because I create a month long plan and my weekly plans so instead of using energy at home I use it with the kids.

    Admittedly, I do come home alot tireder (is that a word?)

    :whistle:We were creating self portiat for the end of the year assessment. I had all the multicultal crayons available. The artists were discussing hair color. A little boy looked at me and said "What color did your hair used to be?" Needless to say-I made an appointment quickly and now I am a brunette AGAIN!:dizzy:
     
  13. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    I've been teaching Pre-K for 20 years and I still love it. Just remember that they are not going to be self sufficient like your 3rd. graders and will need lots of help in the beginning.
    Be consistent with discipline, firm and fair. They will love you for this.
    Expect plenty of crying and constant tattling. Have a plan for the tattling or it will drive you insane. My favorite response is, "Work it out with him/her."
    There will toileting issues. Train them to change themselves and have Wal Mart bags in the bathroom for them to put their own wet clothes in.
    Be prepared to repeat, repeat, repeat..."wash your hands, use soap, sit down, come here, stop that please, sit quietly, I said "quietly," be nice to your friends, we don't hit, when you're done crying you may get up, put your toys away, put your toys away, put your toys away, walk, walk, walk, these are pencils, not guns or rockets, we'll go outside, we're not going outside because it's raining, yes it's still raining, we can't go outside, because it is still raining, no we can't go outside, keep the food on the table, use your spoon, wash your face, get a kleenex, where are your shoes, where did you leave your shoes?, put your coat on, yes you do know how to put your coat on, that's not your coat, did you bring a coat?, where are your shoes, you forgot your boots?, leave him alone, we don't push our friends, go to the bathroom, did you go?, go again, did you wipe?, why are you crying?, I can't understand you when you're crying, what's in your mouth?, blow your nose, sit down, come here, what's wrong now?, where are your shoes, wash your hands, why is there green marker all over your face?, put your toys away, listen, look at me, .........
     
  14. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Ha, very nice Grammy.........that's my day exactly!
     
  15. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    And, unlike upper grades....."I love you too."
     
  16. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    I love the hugs, and the "I love you Teacher X" and all the hand drawn presents. My biggest pay back moment is when I hear the things that I have been "teaching" (like life cycle terms) repeated in free play, or to "teach" a smaller child. That, is totally the moment for which I live!
     
  17. Teach'em

    Teach'em Companion

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    I've actually used many of these statements in 3rd, too!!! :lol:
     
  18. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    I had to laugh at this. The AP Biology class visited us this week so I brought out all the animals. The number one thing I heard from our kids was, "Wash your hands." I had asked the high schoolers to ask questions and listen more than they talked, and we were impressed with the amount of information the little kids told the big kids. They even used the right terms. I heard one big kid tell a little one, "Do you mean cocoon?" and the little one replied, "No, its called a crysalis!" Fun times!
     
  19. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    LOL I'm sure you have, but hopefully not the pants wetting issues! :lol:
     
  20. Teach'em

    Teach'em Companion

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    I had one who had a pants wetting issue because the computer lab teacher wouldn't let him go. :eek:

    My coworker had a student who had medical issues which resulted in frequent bowel problems...

    I think I'll buy a few boxes of plastic gloves if I go to pre-k! :p
     
  21. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    I had one this year with the daily bowel issues...it was not fun. I got to the point where I handed him a box of wet wipes, the garbage can and closed the door. It was just AWFUL and so was his behavior. Friday was my last day with him and I am so glad it's over.
     
  22. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    We are currently working through the "yes, I know Mommy reads that word in the Eric Carle book, but it is really a crysalis.....Even Eric Carle says so on his website" issue. :lol:
     
  23. teacherR

    teacherR Companion

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    I love teaching pre-k more then I thougt I ever would!! I worked with older children for many years and I still love them too but nothing is like pre-k. They are still so eager and open. They brim with creativty and imagination. Nothing is concrete in their forming minds yet so they are really able to think outside the box. They have wonderful ah ha moments. Watching them blend fantasy and reality is amazing.

    The hardest transition for me was bringing my teaching down to their level. They are at the begining and every thing is abstract for them. You have to be careful not to talk over their heads and find ways to explain things to them so they can relate. They are not just learning academics but they are still sorting reality from non-reality and coming into touch with emotions and senses. They can be easily confused and discouraged. We always say you have to be part clown to work pre-k cause you are always putting on a show.
     
  24. Teach'em

    Teach'em Companion

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    I do worry about talking over their heads. I was even going through my picture books and think many of them will be too high to even read aloud...
    I abolutely LOVE the excitement 4 and 5 year olds exhibit!
     
  25. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    This is true about talking over their heads, but I find that by the time they're 5, many are ready for more information. That's when it's fun.
     
  26. christine89

    christine89 Companion

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    Thanks so much for sharing your enthusiasm for PreK! I just accepted a combined PreK/K job and I'm starting to feel a little nervous as I am also a new teacher. Reading how much fun it can be just kinda made me feel better! :)
     
  27. Miss J. Pre-K

    Miss J. Pre-K Comrade

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    At the beginning of the year, one sentence per page was about all my fours could handle. By the end, a short paragraph per page. You can still use reference type books for science, just pick out short facts to tell them about each page.
     
  28. Miss J. Pre-K

    Miss J. Pre-K Comrade

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    Some helpful hints for the beginning of the year:

    Buy or see if your janitor has an extra broom, dustpan, and mop. Keep cloth rags for food clean-up. Have at least two trashcans in different points/corners of the room. I had to buy my own and I bought a swiffer type wet mop--much easier for little spills and accidents. Especially nice after an art activity or lunch, if you eat in the room. I ended up buying about 3 small handheld brooms and small dustpans and some of the kids LOVED cleaning up after art or playdough.

    Have parents bring in an extra change of clothes to keep at school. Send them home and change them out as the seasons change.

    Make friends with your janitor if you haven't already so he'll/she'll make sure you're well stocked with toilet paper, paper towels, tissues, soap, and trash bags. Talk about 1 squirt of soap and 1 paper towel per handwashing with the kids. Repeat often. These are things you might ask for on a parent wish list, especially the tissues and bandaids. My rule was "No blood, no bandaid" because the kids will use them like stickers if you let them.

    Have the kids go to the bathroom before you go outside or anywhere else in the building besides your classroom. Hopefully you'll have a bathroom in your room--it makes life so much easier, but we used the multi-person bathrooms daily before going anywhere.

    Procedures: For probably the first six weeks or so, you should focus on procedures. This is how we line up to go to the bathroom. This is how we get to the playground. This is how we do circle time. This is how we do small groups. This is how we pick up. This is how we treat a book. This is how we use a crayon. (Some will have never held a book or a crayon--sad.) Model, demonstrate, repeat. Keep their learning kind of simple, drill them until they know the routine so well that they tell you if something is different.

    Practice a fire drill and any other kinds of drills soon, especially if you'll have one in the first few weeks. Some of the kids will be terrified of the lights or noises.

    Have a routine to your circle time. I had a line leader that changed every day, and their names were on a calendar in the classroom so they could consult it (they also brought snack for the class on their day.) Later in the year I instituted a door holder for when we went to the playground. Door holder was second in line after the leader.

    I don't know how good your school library is, but mine was pretty much crap for pre-k level books. I checked out about 25 books weekly from the public library on what we were learning. I put out 10 ones I wasn't going to read on Monday and put out the rest after I read them (3/day X 5=15 more books). You'll learn how to tape and repair books, if you haven't already. :)

    Everyone has told you what they love, and I agree. However, I thought I should warn you: if you're going to be licensed like a preschool, it is a royal pain. If you use an ongoing assessment system, you'll be taking notes daily on things they do instead of homework/tests. I think it probably takes as much time, if not more, than the older grades, to write it up. Find out if you'll still send them to specials, and if not, find out if you get a prep time. I didn't get one, so I pretty much took stuff home every night to work on.

    I hope your administrators are amenable to the Project Approach. Mine were not . . . I was told exactly how they wanted my lesson plans, how circle time would be conducted, how much time I could have for small groups and outside time, how long we could pee. (Joking on that last one . . . but. . .) I'm not there anymore.:whistle:
     
  29. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    If you have to do assessments, (I don't anymore!!!!!!:):)), let us know and we can give hints on how to make it less time consuming. Whether you do portfolios or the DSRM-R or whatever, someone here will have some good advise.
     
  30. Teach'em

    Teach'em Companion

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    As long as we meet the state standards, we can teach any way we want! I would hate to be told when and how to do every little thing! :rolleyes:

    Thanks for all of the tips!!!!
     
  31. Teach'em

    Teach'em Companion

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    No assessments? How do you assess? :lol: We have a district workshop that is supposed to explain everything, so hopefully that will help. Thanks for the advice!
     
  32. MzMooreTeaches

    MzMooreTeaches Cohort

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    I'm blessed (depending on the year and student makeup) to have a prek/k combination class since I'm at a public montessori school. I do enjoy and love my preks. I agree with many of the statements that they are like sponges, eager to please, learn new things and help. Sometimes a bit moody, but we all are at times.

    I must warn you have to redirect and practice and model and reiterate your rules, expectations and routines nonstop the first couple of months... longer for some. But be patient have fun... sometimes I say it with a smile other times I give them the "eye" and they know I mean business. One day I need to see what that face looks like, lol! I do love the preks though because of all the growth that you see with them socially and academically.
     
  33. MzMooreTeaches

    MzMooreTeaches Cohort

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    I also have prek/k combination! I believe at times the combination can be a nice blessing in discuise... because you get to lay a really nice foundation with them and push and challenge them further since you will have them in kindergarten the following year.
     
  34. PreKKiddo

    PreKKiddo New Member

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    I have been teaching PreK for 9 years, and love it! The children are still full of wonder and excitement. They still think that you are the best! I focus on manners and social interactions. Literacy is also high on my priority list. My kids are five before December, so in a way it is like teaching K. They can absorb so much! I think you will find that you can take the children a long way with their pre-academics. I have had readers by the end of the year. Introduce sight words, and phonics. The fun is that you can still do a lot of hands on, but delve into phonetic spelling, creativity, etc. I love it!
     

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