How would you feel about this?

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by scmom, Jul 16, 2009.

  1. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    Jul 16, 2009

    I have been teaching a long time but decided to go back and take some child development classes at the junior college this summer as a refresher. I am taking the observation and experience class in their child development center which is a reggio-type class. I have found it very interesting - some I will use, some I won't. Today they were discussing what they are doing in the fall. They are going to turn it into a community classroom - not sure of the term. 30 kids, 4 teachers and their aides all together in one giant room. They will all look after all the kids and collaborate on the activities. I don't think I could do that! What do you think?
     
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  3. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Jul 16, 2009

    Are they licensed? How are they dividing up the children? This will take some highly qualified teachers to pull this off.

    If they are licensed they will have some issues to deal with.
     
  4. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Jul 16, 2009

    What age? I am not a Reggio expert, but I think as long as the children were aware of the way the room would work and the grown ups moved and didn't stand around and talk it could be wonderful.

    It would take a lot of callaboration on the schedualing as well. You couldn't have one group singing while another was having quiet time---?

    Sounds nice to me----but different you are right.
     
  5. Dzenna

    Dzenna Groupie

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    Jul 16, 2009

    Is this a multi-age group or are all they all the same age? I'd prefer a smaller group size just for the noise/activity level. I notice a difference even when one or two children are absent.
     
  6. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    Yes, they are licensed and considered a model school. They are experimenting with something different. The children are 3-5. The teachers are skilled and licensed but quite different personalities. Even though they are all Reggio, they do interpret it a little differently to to their own temperaments and styles. They say the key will be communication - no kidding! I think it could be wonderful or terrible depending on the children, skill of the teachers, etc. I think some kids will find it overstimulating to have that many people to interact with and different interpretations of the rules. I'm not saying it will be bad, just I think they will have to be very skilled to pull it off. I think I will try to go back and observe in a few months to see how it is working.
     
  7. Dzenna

    Dzenna Groupie

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    Jul 16, 2009

    I don't see a problem with the licensing ratios.

    Your right. We all have different temperaments and teaching styles. I like to be in control of my classes so I wouldn't like it. Maybe someone who has been in a "team teaching" situation could shed some light on how that works. Will there be a lead teacher?

    I also agree with the large group overstimulating a few children. I like to have areas in my classroom where children can be alone or in pairs to accommodate that child.

    I'd love to hear how it works out. Keep us updated if you observe during the year.
     
  8. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Jul 16, 2009

    If the room is Reggio there should be spaces that are quiet and some that are pretty and some that are for really large building projects and lots of specific areas for targeted things. This is one of the reasons I have a Reggio implemetation problem in my program.....I can't get enough space to have the continuing zones.

    If one person focuses on art and one on building and what not and all implement the running rule the same it could be fine.

    Let us know how it goes.
     
  9. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    I agree, it could be awesome or it could be a disaster. I teach in an open-concept school (although I am in 1 of 3 classes that isn't) and it is amazing the way that kids adjust. It could offer amazing opportunities to group kids differently for specific activities. Not all kids can handle it and we do offer the option for parents to request or teachers to recommend a closed school.
     
  10. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Yep, I can see a lot of potential. If the teachers can handle it. Hopefully, they have a great plan. Additionally, I hope that the don't suffer from the "too many chiefs" problem.
     
  11. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    Jul 17, 2009

    I talked to the director today for a few minutes. Her plan is to try to get all staff to develop more relationships with kids, and to have a more seamless practice of the philosophy they teach. They do have quiet areas, etc. and are making a new art studio. I told her I want to visit in 6 months to observe how it is going. It is an exciting concept but if you get too many Type As like me, it wouldn't work. Maybe all the teachers need to be middle children used to negotiating and compromising.
     
  12. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    Jul 17, 2009

    this surely isn't for me...I already know myself. :D
    Interesting idea though.
     
  13. mrgrinch09

    mrgrinch09 Comrade

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    Jul 17, 2009

    With 30 children in one room, the room had better be very large.

    I consider my classroom to be very large, but it still gets kind of chaotic with just 18 kids in my room.

    I co-teach with one other teacher and it works out great. We share all the responsibilities of the classroom (planning, paperwork, parent meetings, and anything else you can think of). I think it works out great with us because we think alike and pretty much share the same philosophy when it comes to discipline, planning techniques, and what we consider to be DAP.

    I think it would be more difficult to do with 4 teachers. Only because the more people you add to the equation the more opportunity you have for conflict. If just one of those teachers doesn't mesh with the other 3, then the whole experiment can implode on them. I've seen classroom where the teachers weren't getting along with each other, and it can get very tense. Not good for the kids at all.
     
  14. Rebecca1122

    Rebecca1122 Comrade

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    Jul 17, 2009

    What is an open concept school? Would that be another name for Reggio? Never heard the term before, just curious! :)
     
  15. PrekCAteacher

    PrekCAteacher Rookie

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    Jul 17, 2009

    Wow, i don't think this style would be for me, however it would be wonderful if they have the space and all the teachers and get along. I observed something similar, but it wasn't going so well....I wish them all the best, and let us know when you visit again.
     
  16. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Jul 20, 2009

    In Oregon, we can only have 20 children in a group.
     
  17. Miss J. Pre-K

    Miss J. Pre-K Comrade

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    Jul 22, 2009

    I assisted in a Reggio-inspired center on a university campus. At times, we had more adults than children because of all the lab students and student interns. We had 3 teachers: 1 for 3 infants, 2 for 9 toddlers, and 1 part time assistant (me). The room was separated by gates so that there was division, but the children could go through when the gates were open. The pre-k classroom had 18 children aged 3-5, 2 co-teachers, 1 full-time assistant, 1 part-time assistant, along with the students who were interning.

    I think two co-teachers and 15 kids a room would work a lot better . . . but that's just my opinion. I know mostly the teachers (and all the adults) in my setting worked well together, but there was one that liked to be in charge. I always thought she would have done better in a public school setting, which is often more hierarchial.

    I'd love to see pics of their atelier, if you have them. That was always my favorite part of the approach.
     
  18. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    Jul 22, 2009

    They are rebuilding it so I hope to get pictures when it is done.

    There was already drama yesterday. The senior, hierarchial type teacher didn't like some things the junior teacher did that were more child-centered and "messy" (gasp!). She reprimanded her in front of other adults and then complained to others in front of students. It was tense because then the junior teach felt disrespected and tried to defend herself while staying calm. Anyway, I ended up talking to the director about it and she wants me to write a report because they are not getting the cooperation they want from the older, tenured teacher. This is going to take a lot of work to be successful.
     
  19. teacherR

    teacherR Companion

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    Jul 22, 2009

    I think that is sounds interesting. I think that I would like to have a bigger class and more teachers rather then just me and 10 children. Plus, with the Reggio philosophy you are not planning an academic curriculum you feel pressured to push on the kids. Everything is happening very organically. You are just a resource for the children.

    I also think that if you follow the Reggio way excellent communication is a deep understanding. Since it is based on socialist principles there are no hierarchies or experts. Everyone works together for the common good of the children. All ideas are thought of as important no matter who they belong too.

    I could totally do it! I wish I could turn the preschool I work at into a Reggio school. We have slowly started to add little things to our program already and better communication was our first step.
     
  20. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Jul 23, 2009

    I am with you teacherr, i would love it. But only if the senior teacher could calm down. That is reall what everything will depend on.
     
  21. Dzenna

    Dzenna Groupie

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    Yikes! Not off to a good start.

    I love the Reggio method, but it requires a lot of time for discussion and planning between teachers; and educated teachers skilled in observation and documentation in order to work.
     
  22. Dzenna

    Dzenna Groupie

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    Jul 23, 2009

    My room is licensed for 25, but I stop at 18 because I feel there is too much going on with that amout of children.
     

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