First Time Preschool Teacher...Having trouble getting started...

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by ZoeMarie, Aug 18, 2016.

  1. ZoeMarie

    ZoeMarie Rookie

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    Aug 18, 2016

    I will be a first year teacher in a little over two weeks. I'll be teaching preschool! I am so excited BUT feel unprepared. The school hired me because they are expanding their preschool program so all of the supplies and furniture for my classroom have yet to arrive. I figured I would wait to get into the classroom until my new teacher orientation (next Tuesday and Wednesday) or when the furniture and supplies arrive, whichever comes first. In the mean time I'm trying to make a list of everything or the most important things I need to get done. I know I would like to make a lot of procedure charts with pictures like for the morning routine, how to use specific centers (like a calm down corner, art center), lining up and walking in the hall, circle time routine. Are there other procedures I should be thinking about?
    What supplies should I be looking for? (I've been hesitant to start buying things until I see what I'll be provided with, if a district supply list goes out to parents before the first day, what my budget is).
    What should I spend my own money on versus my classroom budget money on?
    What should I focus on for the first day-week of school? (I know routines but anything else?)
    Are there any books that you would recommend I read to prepare for my first year of teaching and teaching as a preschool teacher?

    THANK YOU!!
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2016
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  3. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Aug 19, 2016

    Off topic, then I will get back on topic, I am guessing that everything went well with the salary guide at HR?

    ASK what you are budgeted, where you have to spend it, and the turn around time. If the amount sounds ridiculously low, remind them that they are expanding the preschool program this year, school is quickly approaching, and you haven't even received a paycheck to did into for emergency funding. Advocate for yourself and your program, and that includes the amount you can spend and where you can spend it - you are now on the clock, and it will quickly get you to the first day of school.

    Have you ever read any of the Daily 5 books? Just popped into my head. Not everything will be appropriate, but surprisingly, a lot will. Worth a look. If there was a program before, you need to know what has been "willed" to you, so maybe in to the classroom a little sooner, so you will be advocating from a position where you have taken stock of what is there, and then shooting for what you actually will need.

    Best of luck!
     
  4. ZoeMarie

    ZoeMarie Rookie

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    Aug 19, 2016

    Thank you for asking. Yes, everything with salary and HR went well. I go in on Tuesday to officially sign my contract (board meeting is Monday). My section of the program is brand new so I've been told my room is essentially empty right now. Tuesday is my new teacher orientation and I plan on asking then about budget,among other things. Unless you think it is important I ask ASAP?

    And yes I've heard a bit about daily 5. I'll look into it again. Thanks!
     
  5. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Aug 19, 2016

    It's Friday - yes, I would ask now, just in case you need to be more persuasive about funding. The sooner you know what you will need to do about the what, how much, and where, the better. Doesn't mean you have to go in and move furniture, but moving minds and opening wallets is always worthwhile. ;)
     
  6. ZoeMarie

    ZoeMarie Rookie

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    Aug 19, 2016

    Thanks for the advice! Once I know that information, what supplies should I look for?
     
  7. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Aug 19, 2016

    Now you REALLY need the PK people to chime in! Books (which don't have to be new), chart paper, markers, glue, and the list goes on. It has been a lot of years since I did anything with PreK. A lot of the items that you will want, like the different areas, with toys, etc., are best scavenged from yard sales, etc., since many only need cleaning to work wonderfully. If you put out word of what you think you need, you will be surprised what kind of donations you will get. Is this strictly PK, or does it incorporate PK Handicapped as well. If the latter, you are going to want to check with the PT, OT, and Speech people so that you can keep from duplicating some items.

    If you can edit your title, you may want to phrase it along the lines of "What does every new PK classroom absolutely need - HELP!"
     
  8. shoreline02

    shoreline02 Cohort

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    Aug 19, 2016

    What age for preschool? I taught for about five years and could give some insight but preschool age varies from place to place.
     
  9. ChildWhisperer

    ChildWhisperer Groupie

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    Aug 19, 2016

    When I arrived at my current school last year, everything was provided for me as far as furniture, toys, books, supplies.
    All I had to buy/make was the stuff for the circle time board (calendar, weather, colors, shapes, alphabet, number chart/line) and anything related to the decor (classroom theme)
    I wouldn't worry about all that until after you see what they've gotten for you. Unless school starts soon and you don't have time to wait..?
     
  10. ZoeMarie

    ZoeMarie Rookie

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    Aug 19, 2016

    I will likely have a large group of 3 year olds. Really any advice even if it is for a 4 (as long as I know it is for a 4) I really appreciate!
     
  11. ZoeMarie

    ZoeMarie Rookie

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    Aug 19, 2016

    Thanks, it sounds like I will be provide with a lot of supplies. Schools starts for me September 6th with New Teacher Orientation and Professional Development days in between. I have a lot of ideas in my head, I'm just having a hard time get a lot of it started so knowing what is a priority would be really helpful.
     
  12. shoreline02

    shoreline02 Cohort

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    Aug 19, 2016

    You need a schedule in place. After you have a schedule, then you can figure out what you will need at each of these times. When I taught preschool, we had a little bit of wiggle room so I am not sure if your school will provide a schedule for you. Sample schedule we used:

    1. Arrival/Sign in
    Dry erase markers and child's name on a laminated sheet/card OR a clipboard with the children's names and pencil to "write". Cubby's labeled with kid's names.

    2. Potty
    I had picture posters in the bathroom about washing hands and a step-stool.

    3. Free Choice
    Some centers open. Wooden puzzles, blocks, dramatic play items, construction paper, markers, crayons,cars, and legos. Most of these things should be provided for you!

    4. Morning snack
    Laminated name tags taped to the table so kids know where to sit. I later added pictures of each child to mine.

    5. Circle Time
    I had my kids sit in the same spot on the carpet everyday. It was rough in the beginning but really helped later on. They knew what the expectation was when coming to circle time!
    Figure out what you will do for circle time, then what you will need. General items you might use: lots of picture books! Something interactive for weather, puppets, posters on colors/counting. You might be able to print, buy, or create your own posters. Calendar might be too young for your kids, not sure. ABC's. Vocabulary cards with pictures.

    You need to remember to have pictures everywhere. On my shelves, I took pictures of the actual items that were there and taped them to the shelf. Kids new exactly where stuff belonged and what it should look like. Just takes a little bit of time but well worth it!

    6. Centers
    Centers could include:
    Water-play table or sand
    Dramatic play: dolls, clothing, hats, doll furniture, props, plastic food, etc.
    Blocks: wooden, plastic, connecting, legos
    Art: paper, crayons, colored pencils, etc. Teach them to cut with scissors in small groups with lots of supervision, easel
    Science: next to a window preferably, real items to touch, pictures of real animals/plants, books, magnify glass, real plants, I also attached a suction cup bird feeder to my window, and we had a pet hermit crab.
    Fine motor: puzzles, play-doh, cardboard lacing, tweezers with pom-poms, pipe cleaners with pasta strainer, etc.
    Gross motor: outside/inside play area, cd player
    Library: books, soft items like pillows, stuffed animals, chairs

    7. Potty

    8. Music/movement
    Cd's from various cultures, scarves, beanbags, shakers, instruments, open space to dance

    9. Whole group sit down while lunch is prepared
    Could read a story, talk about their day, etc.

    10. Lunch

    11. Storytime/Potty
    Relaxation time before nap

    12. Nap

    13. Potty

    14. PM snack

    15. Indoor/outdoor free play

    16. Departure

    We also had a communication sheet we sent home with parents to let them know how their child's day was. Monthly newsletters. You might want to develop a letter about yourself to give to parents, introduce yourself. Develop a picture schedule. I suggest taking real pictures of your kids throughout the day to add to each section of the schedule.

    Bulletin boards: I always chose a theme for my room and you could see it in my labels, decorations and on my bulletin boards.

    Hope this helps!!
     

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