Holding Children?

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by ksmomy, Jun 21, 2008.

  1. ksmomy

    ksmomy Companion

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    Jun 21, 2008

    I am getting a new co-teacher and she has been working in the classroom with my current co-teacher and myself for the past couple of weeks to get used to everything. My current co-teacher is retiring.:( The new co-teacher is great but I have noticed that she picks the kids up a lot and carries them around. This is a Pre-K class with 4 and 5 year olds. The current children are going to kindergarten in just a few weeks. For example: one little girl is very shy and has been a little withdrawn lately because she would rather be at home with mom. I try to encourage her to go play and try to help her join in but she will still stand by me a lot in the classroom or outside etc... The other teacher started holding her and carrying her around a lot. Another example is a child freaked out on her cot yesterday and cried loudly waking all the other kids up. She is a little scared about going to kindergarten in a few weeks but still no excuse for this behavior. When the other teacher came back for lunch, she picked her up off the cot and was carrying her around. I viewed this as a reward. I got a chair and told the child she had to sit in the chair until we put all the cots up. My question is how do I handle this? I don't want to start off with any bad feelings and I understand she is coming from teaching a three year old class (I still didn't hold 3 year olds) but we are teaching these kids to be independent and you can't just walk around holding them. Do I just ignore this or should I try to change it?
     
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  3. vannapk

    vannapk Groupie

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    Jun 21, 2008

    I have worked with many teachers in public pre-k who prefer to "mother" the children instead of teaching them, they see no difference between being a mother and being a teacher. This undermines everything you are trying to teach the children and I would try to nip it in the bud asap or it could turn into feeding them, helping them in the bathroom, tying their shoes constantly etc- I've seen it before. Explain that teaching the children to be independent is part of your program and you are trying to prepare them for kindergarten where they will need to have these skills developed etc. Gently tell her that picking up children of 4 and 5 years of age is not considered appropriate and we need to try to find ways to console them that are more professional, they already have parents, they don't need another one. It might be hard for you to talk to her but it really needs to be done.
     
  4. MsWK

    MsWK Habitué

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    Jun 21, 2008

    I am all for physical comfort, but carrying PreK kids is a little too much. Even some of the 3 y.o. are too big & heavy. Work together to come up with a plan (i.e., it's okay to sit by their cots and pat backs, for example, or to hold hands and hug, but not to pick them up or carry them). Don't try to get her to stop giving affection, though... they really do need that. Also, when kids are crying, get her to encourage them to use their words.

    By the way, I totally do not think that comforting a crying kid is a "reward." It's just love, and they need that. They do need to know that the new teacher will take care of them. Remember that even though they are the "big kids" at your school, they are still really small.
     
  5. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Jun 21, 2008

    I don't work with pre-schoolers but I have this staff member who comes into my room and LOVES to have this one student sit on her lap. This student is 10 years old w/disabilities. We are trying to teach her independence and appropriate social skills and now she thinks she can hug and sit on everyone's lap. I try to be subtle by saying "sit in a chair like a big girl" or when she grabs onto people (her way of hugging) I try to get her to wave to the person and use her words to say hello. I really don't know what to do but this is getting annoying, especially when it interrupts the class. I think the picking up and lap sitting should be left at home. It is not appropriate at school.
     
  6. ksmomy

    ksmomy Companion

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    Jun 21, 2008

    I completely agree MsWk that kids need love and affection and I definitely let them know that I care about them, but this particular child was having a temper tantrum. She is 5 yrs. old and I had tried talking with her, getting her to calm down, letting her know that I understood that she was upset but that she wasn't being fair to her friends who were sleeping, etc..., but she was angry, it was naptime and she was screaming so loudly the other Pre-K teacher from the room next door came to see what was wrong. To me, if a teacher picks this 5 yr. old child up and carries her around the room it makes her feel rescued and rewarded. The children who had been awakened by this tantrum were not being given undivided attention they were still sitting on their cots asking why she was making so much noise. And as for the child who is shy, I reassure her, talk with her, make suggestions as to activities she can participate in but if I hold her and carry her around, she is not going to have the opportunity to venture away and become engaged. I hope I didn't indicate that I think these kids don't need love and affection. I just don't think they need to be carried around the classroom or the playground.
     
  7. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Jun 21, 2008

    I also think kids that age need lots of love and affection. They don't need to be carried though unless it is an unsafe situation or they are hurt. Otherwise it is the teacher's job to foster indepdendence. I'm also one that doesn't agree with too much coddling during a temper tantrum. If I can see the cause, like being over tired, I might work around it to create a way for the child to have a successful outcome but I won't excuse it.
     
  8. Ghost

    Ghost Habitué

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    Jun 21, 2008

    My last district was totally against picking up the kids. It was a liability issue in case the kid or the teacher were hurt. I would approach her in that manner, as a kind warning that it's no-no with the school and you don't want to see her getting in trouble or sued by some angry parent.
     
  9. memeskids

    memeskids Rookie

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    Jun 22, 2008

    Let the teacher know that she is not helping the child by holding her. She is doing more harm that good. I think to have a child sit on your lap when they need some confort is fine but it should not be a constant habit. Kindergarten teachers will not be holding/walking around with or be having children sit on their lap. They need to get ready for kindergarten and this is not helping them with this process.
     
  10. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Jun 23, 2008

    old school vs new school

    Let's get a few more facts..

    Is the new teacher older than you, younger or middle aged?

    Has this teacher completed ANY educational program, or have a degree/credit hours in early childhood, or just a hs diploma?

    Did this teacher do the same thing in another class?

    Has this teacher been working with infant/toddlers?

    Have you asked other teachers if they noticed the same thing?

    Have you mentioned it to director?

    My guess is, she is old school or younger and very affectionate. And I TOTALLY agree with you that this is a reward, and she is spoiling them rotten, and it is not good for preschool. They won't listen to a word you say! Sure kids need affection, but they should not be held for all the reasons you stated, and the liability issue as Trinda states. I had a child with autism and his mother insisted on carrying him in/out all around the room. I made her stop. I said you are perpeturating the feeling to the class that he is a baby. He needs to walk.

    As far as co-teachers/aides, and prior teachers, I had my fill with this nasty habit as well. I just told my kids I wasn't doing it it, and that was that. I would strongly suggest, after you did your research to try these steps.

    When the aide reaches for the child, question her on the spot.

    "You know, it is not good to pick her up, because she needs to be walking to her cot independently."

    "You know, I understand he is upset, but we believe in allowing the children to comfort themselves with by sitting in housekeeping with a favorite toy, or on the pillows". Then gently lead him over there before she can grab him.

    Wait for her response. If she is combative or negative, say, we need to talk. Have a meeting discuss what you see, ask her why she does what she does, and follow up with school policy and why it is not allowed. let her know if this continues, you have no choice but to let your director know. And then tell them what happen, and ask that they keep an eye on her.

    Good luck!!!! :unsure: Sounds like she is not going to let you do anything that is developmentally appropriate. I had one coloring on kids papers, opening their snacks, and yes...spoon feeding them! UGH! It is so hard. And yes, she was younger, and had no prior education, just experience as an aide.

    Why don't they let us interview the people we are going to work with?! :help:
     
  11. ksmomy

    ksmomy Companion

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    Jun 23, 2008

    Thanks for all the responses. At least I know that I am not overreacting. To answer your questions Master Pre-K, she is older than me, she has a certificate and 20 years experience, I'm not sure if she did this in another class because she is coming from a different school where she worked with three year olds, all of her experience is with 3 & 4 year olds. My co-teacher that is retiring did notice it. She is also older, has the credential, and many years experience but we were almost always on the same page as far as what needed to happen in the classroom. Since we are still in that "getting used to each other" stage, today I did mention to her that we are teaching them to be independent and I wanted to allow them to do or at least try to do everything by themselves within reason. I told her we didn't rub backs at naptime (normally) or hold the kids a lot etc... She is definitely not combative at all seems willing to want to work together. She respects how I run the classroom and I know she wouldn't intentionally want to cause a problem. I just wanted to work through it without any hurt feelings. Thanks for all of your input!
     
  12. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Jun 23, 2008

    That is great! sometimes, that is all you need! when you have worked in private program, with all 3s, it's easy to do that...especially if admin or parents expected it. so much different in other programs. putting on coats and stuff, hanging up bookbags...

    glad it worked out!!!
     

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