long post/vent, lots of advice needed!! :)

Discussion in 'Early Childhood Education Archives' started by otsegogirl27, Sep 18, 2006.

  1. otsegogirl27

    otsegogirl27 Rookie

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    Sep 18, 2006

    hi all! i'm new to the forum. i was on before, but never got on her much, and ended up forgetting my user name and password... so i guess you could say i'm back :) i have a few questions that i would appreciate any advice you could give!

    to start off, i'm 24, i graduated with a degree in the growth and development of young children (interdisciplinary major). i teach in a private school, coming from day care, and am back with the 2 1/2-3 year olds.... this is the first year my new school has had kids this young, so i'm kind of setting the role for the class and school. lesson plans are so much more of a big deal in private school than in day care... they are so much more indepth, actually, the lesson plans we have to do actually suck. compared to my last class (18 kids to two teachers), i am very much enjoying a small class! i have 10 kids (some parttime) to just me. although i love never having 10 kids in a day, it does get kind of stressful teaching by myself and potty training with kids so young. granted most are potty trained, but the ones who aren't could care less lol.

    i am having a very difficult time getting my kids to walk in a straight line to the playground. i have tried the buddy system, to the choo choo train with hands on the shoulders of the person in front of you, back to the buddy system, and about ready to get a rope for them to hold... some of the kids are in their own little worlds (to put it nicely) and tend to wander off in the parking lot, so i've recently started cutting though another playground to avoid kids and cars... what suggestions do you have to get these kids to walk in a straight line and stay together? i'm sure i look like a fool trying to collect these kids lol.

    another question i had was that my last class was so lively, so energetic, got so into circle time and songs, i had it made.... my new class, well i have a few who are picking up songs, and stuff i'm teaching, but a lot of them are just boring!! i try anything and everything to get these kids to liven up and have more personality in the classroom, but some of them just won't budge. it gets boring for me sometimes! what suggestions do you have to get the quiet kids more involved? again, some of them are just in their own little worlds, and i haven't found a way to get through to them yet. like one boy will be the only one sitting at the table after lunch when i told everyone to throw their stuff away, go potty, wash hands, and go to their mats for nap time. just an example :)

    lesson plans have been difficult, again b/c they are so indept, but you can only teach so much at such a young age... any other suggestions teaching wise what i should be doing? i do colors, numbers (both english and spanish), shapes, days/months, starting to recognize names, some letters, going to start recognizing some numbers soon. what else can i do??

    i have pretty good control over my class for the most part, sometimes i think i'm a bit too controlling though and i think that stresses me out so much throughout the day. i try not to be controlling, but with such young kids, sometimes they need it. some of my kids really do, some of them don't. i think i need some pointers on classroom management. you don't learn about a lot of this stuff in school, and i'm really just curious to see what behavior techniques other people use to keep their class in order, but also aren't so strict on them. kids are smart, no matter their age... i def think my kids know what their doing when they don't listen, but i want to try and get better ideas of how to manage that rather than yell and get frusturated.

    over the last year and a half or so since i've been out of school, i've realized that classroom teaching isn't really my thing. i initally went to school to get my teaching license, but had a ton of trouble with the praxis and ended up having to get an interdisciplinary degree... special ed is my thing, i love one on one or very small groups. i know what my nitch is, i just need to get there... (which i'm sure i'll post another thread later on on actually getting to where i want to be and what i want my career to be lol). but for now, i have to do what i have to do... i have been in quite the funk lately, and lesson plans have just been kicking my butt. i'm also not the most creative person, so i struggle there as well. until i write a thread later on, is there any just general advice?

    sorry this is so long... i guess it ended up being more of a vent than i intended it to be... but any advice would be greatly appreciated!! i want to be a better teacher for my kids, and i want to set better examples for them and other teachers (i've been told on a number of occasions that i have the patience of a saint for working with this age lol) but i think i'm just beyond frusturated and stressed with trying to manage it all at once. i've gone to my office, curriculum coordinator, etc, a number of times, but they are all new and just as clueless as i am.... so i'm sure you can understand my frusturations!

    thank you in advance for reading all the way through, again, sorry this is so long!!! i appreciate it! :)
     
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  3. Butterfly4

    Butterfly4 Comrade

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    Sep 19, 2006

    I teach 4-5's now, and am a lot more structured than I used to be. I taught 2 1/2 - 3's about ten years ago for a few years. I had a couple short circle times, used lots of felt stories and props to keep the children interested. Circle was 90% songs, fingerplays & movement and 10% "acedemic". We did letter of the week, and woluld talk a little about the letter during circle, but not much.

    My center time was totally free choice. I had the centers open I wanted, I would be at the craft table and would call each child over a couple at a time. If they didn't want to come, they didn't have to. If they wanted to spend the whole time in one center, that was fine. It was a very relaxed atmosphere, music always playing. It worked well for me with that age.

    For the trip to the playground, I would use the rope, put knots in it for how you want them spaced, so each child has a knot.

    I have to run, If I think of any other ideas, I'll let you know.
     
  4. ABall

    ABall Fanatic

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    Sep 19, 2006

    I think at age of 2, kids aren't really ready for the structure of a school and lesson plans. Unles its all through play, and even then they just may not want to play when you want them to, its not that you are a bad teacher, some kids just wont be into the play part of it. At that age they don't know how to play with others, just next to others so being in their own little world is what they are supposed to be doing at that age. I hope things get better for you.
     
  5. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    Sep 19, 2006

    There is so much you can do with them. Small motor activities (make a scissor and cutting bin with scrap paper and scissors), science and sensory, incorprate your letters with art, hands-on math (counting chips on counting cards) just to name a few. At this age they NEED structure and a schedule, it just depends on how you incorprate it into your room. Even toddlers get a schedule in most centers but they are just geared differently for their age. There lessons just need to be a bit shortened compared to older kids, that is all. Whether or not they are free choice or not is up to you. What works for one group may not work for another. It depends on what you feel would be best for them and yourself. If need be, talk to your director. She/he should be guiding you during this time if you need help.

    You have to remember that at this age, this is really their first taste of structure, sitting still in a group, sitting at a table for a longer period of time, listening to stories in circle time, and other things like that. You are their first teacher to give them more structure than they have had before and they just need to get use to it. Even my 18 month old I have in my home daycare knows that we have book time after lunch and goes to get a book when she's done eating. It just takes a lot of repetition and consistancy.

    Each class will also be different. You may have the best of classes one year, then the next you may have the dreaded class that takes a lot more energy.

    As for the line thing, are they running away? As long as they are sticking by you and not running in the street, being quiet, and following each other, then I don't put stress on them being in a perfect line at this point. Not until they are a bit older at least, but that is just me. As long as they are safe, quiet, and following me, I don't care if they are not in a perfect line. Nothing will be perfect at this age, or any age.

    Lastly...breath deep! :D
     
  6. gigi

    gigi Groupie

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    Sep 19, 2006

    I recommend using the rope with the knots tied in it, everyone holds on and no one wanders away. I used it for years with the little ones.
     
  7. Joyride

    Joyride Comrade

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    Sep 22, 2006

    Just wanted to say that I'm finding your post very interesting so far, since we teach a similar age group. Do you sing songs while walking to the playground? It's a simple thing, but it seems to keep my kids focused on short walks. (We also use a rope and it's pretty effective).

    As far as finding the kids boring, I'm not sure what to say. Maybe they're just warming up to you or will change quickly in the next few months. I remember one of my kids barely speaking at all when I started working there, and now he is confident, outgoing, and generally a joy to have in the class.

    What types of curriculum elements are you required to include? (Or do you get to set those standards as the first teacher?)
     
  8. gracieh

    gracieh Rookie

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    Sep 24, 2006

    our two's has 8 children and 2 teachers... we don't go outside or anywhere without two adults... our twos use the rope with rings... as for a straight line... with 2's it will take awhile
     
  9. MUgrad1990

    MUgrad1990 Rookie

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    Sep 25, 2006

    I also teach 2's...our ratio is 12/2. We have to walk to our playground too, which is through a parking lot. I have several "escapees" when we walk, but at this point, the asst. and I hold the hands of the ones that run off and don't listen well, and constantly verbally redirect the others. We also sing a very simple walking song to the tune of "London Bridges"...

    Follow, follow, follow me.
    Follow me,
    Follow me.
    Follow, follow, follow me,
    To the Playground.

    Some of the children have started singing it with us, so that's positive.

    We've considered doing a rope, or a ribbon, for them to hold, and for our Monday class, it's probably a very good possibility. Our Friday group is a little less impulsive.

    I wish you all the best. This is my first year (our church just added the 2's program this year) and I understand about setting the mark, because that's what I'm doing too. I've had to develop the curriculum and the lessons....it's a definite learning experience! I have to say, I'm a sweaty mess by the end of the morning, and I sleep like a baby at night!!

    Marcy
     

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