Getting through the day.

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by otterpop, Nov 14, 2013.

  1. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Nov 14, 2013

    Hi all,

    I am so frustrated. I guess I just need to rant for a second, but also any advice would be helpful!

    My classroom frequently has up to 20 kids. Some are "mine" and some are overflow kids from other rooms. I can have ages 3-6, which is a huge range.

    When it's just my kids, they are quite good, but still a handful. When I have the other kids, they go crazy. Seriously.

    Today started off bad and just got worse. I totally lost control of them all multiple times. The older kids make the younger ones misbehave, especially at nap time, when the older kids just don't sleep.

    Administration seems to want to dodge me any time there is a moment when I could bring up these issues. I don't think they are willing to do anything to help.

    I am SO frustrated, because I want to be a good teacher, and I feel like I am pouring my heart into this class, and it's like going one step forward four steps back.

    To add insult to injury, I get paid little more than minimum wage. How anyone expects to have this be a quality industry with teachers that stay in their jobs is beyond me. I will be out ASAP and get a teacher's salary once I get my certification, which breaks my heart in a way, because they are good kids and they deserve the best.

    Anyway... I don't even know what to ask you all because I am just frustrated. I have read a lot of books and forums and articles and know what I "should" be doing, but have a hard time implementing it with this group. I do have one assistant.

    If you have 5 kids that are listening, and 15 kids running around screaming (literally), what would you do to regain control of the classroom? If I stop and get a couple of kids back on task, the others run wild, and then when I get to the next two to help, the first two have started to run around with the rest again.

    I really don't like bribery but it's what the other classes use. I am trying not to have a prize box but maybe I should? Besides being against it, I don't think that the school would pay for prizes, and I am also against spending my own money on that kind of stuff when I get paid so little.
     
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  3. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Nov 14, 2013

    How do you begin your day? When does the off-task behavior really begin?
     
  4. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Nov 14, 2013

    The off-task stuff happens whenever the kids who aren't my students come into my classroom, no matter what time of day it is. Circle time is tough too, because of the different levels. We do basic preschool stuff like weather and calendar, but the older kids get bored. Same with nap time. They don't need to sleep, so they cause problems. I give them quiet activities but it's just too long for them to sit on their mats, awake and quiet.
     
  5. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Nov 14, 2013

    Can you re-do your room? I was tossed into the K room once, and could not control them, so I know what your mean. First, you need to find activities that all ages love. I might include a space for older kids only.

    In one center I worked, the other teacher showed a short movie every day. The sleepers would fall asleep, and the older kids would watch the movie. I am not a fan of showing movies, but this may be a temporary solution for you.
     
  6. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Nov 14, 2013

    I don't know what kind of center you work in, but it sounds kind of mixed up. Why do you have kids of all ages showing up during the day? Don't they have their own teacher?
    Since you're stuck with this arrangement, here's what I would do. Divide your classroom up, you have a class on one side and your assistant has the rest on the other side. Make two classrooms, even if they're small.
    Why are kids running around the classroom? What are your rules? What is your schedule?
    Nap/Rest…Everyone lays down for at least a half hour. If they are quiet and "good," they get to have some books on their sleep mats. I tell my kids that right from the start, but they have to be "perfectly" quiet and close their eyes before their rest time even begins. If they act up, they are not given anything to do on their mats and they are told they will not be getting up with the other children until they learn to be quiet. I have never had to keep a child on their bag because this works!
    Don't let those kids run around the room! They need to stay at the table working with you. Be firm and consistent. Sounds like they're walking all over you.
     
  7. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Nov 14, 2013

    Also, do not use any prizes for the good listeners. Give them two choices…Have a good day by listening and being quiet/doing their work, or have a bad day sitting at the table the whole time with a puzzle. Say it and mean it. They will catch on.
     
  8. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Nov 15, 2013

    Thanks for the suggestions. They were a bit better today. I don't know why yesterday was so crazy. I have a problem with them running away or ignoring me when I try to deliver a consequence, such as sitting at the table quietly when they are being loud. Today when they needed to sit, I started to hold their hands and lead them before telling them what they were going to be doing. It seemed to help a little.
     
  9. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Nov 15, 2013

    Yeah, this is my philosophy on prizes too. I thank them for helping, but I don't like to reward them with items for doing what they should be doing anyway. Otherwise they come to expect it, and then they only clean or listen to get the prize or sticker.
     
  10. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Nov 15, 2013

    Yes, the prize for being good is the satisfaction.

    What are your interest centers like? An art area filled with a variety of materials? Housekeeping with dress up, etc. Book area with comfy mats and books. Science area with interesting items to explore. Sensory table with cornmeal, rice or sand with cups, funnels, and etc. If you have enough materials, you children should be able to entertain themselves without running.

    I would sometimes send my teachers to another program to observe.
     
  11. wyvern

    wyvern Companion

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    Nov 15, 2013

    Can you create some independent stations for older kids to work quietly while a circle time is happening? Can you hold a class meeting to discuss problems and solutions?
     

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