New Preschool Teacher- Goddard Help!!!

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by isabunny, Jan 9, 2011.

  1. isabunny

    isabunny Comrade

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    Jan 9, 2011

    :help::)I am so excited. After looking for a job for the last year, I finally landed a job at a Preschool as lead preschool teacher. However I am pretty overwhelmed. I was hired at the last minute and did not have any prep time to get my classroom ready ahead of time. I have no clue what the prior teacher had been doing as daily rules and schedules are concerned. I am used to teaching older kids. This is my first time in a Pre-K class. I love the kids and finally working as a teacher. But boy, I am only paid for 8 hours a day (no breaks) and working 12 hours getting stuff ready. The daily activity reports and lesson plans are crazy. I figured for each month you have to come up with 240 different activities ahead of time (filling out 120 pages of papers monthly). Plans for the month are due by the middle of the prior month. Not sure how I am going to do all that work and come up with activities to met the themes. I am already behind, because I was just hired. :help:Seems really crazy. Does anyone have any advice to help with the work load. Do you just get used to the system and doing it quickly. I took me 5 hours yesterday (Saturday) to come up with 5 days of lesson plans (on my own time of course). Please help! Any advice would be appreciated greatly!:help:
     
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  3. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Jan 9, 2011

    Do they still nap and/or have a quiet time? We used to get most of our planning done during that time!

    Another thing, you don't need to plan 240 activities for a month. Often times, you can offer free play or dramatic play more than once as well as different activities that they do often.
     
  4. bdsweetie

    bdsweetie Rookie

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    Jan 9, 2011

  5. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Jan 9, 2011

    bunny, I want to help you. First, let's discuss this no break thing. Is there a bathroom in your classroom?

    To quickly plan your lessons, take a look at your daily schecule. I note that you are teaching 4's and 5's. Are you assigned a curriculum by the managment? If not, let's use Creative Curriculum. This is going to be a long post, and I need to copy and paste an outline for you, so I will be back after a bit.
     
  6. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Jan 9, 2011

    http://www.hsnrc.org/CDI/pdfs/UGCOF.pdf

    This is the Head Start curriculum guide. It shows you how to use concepts and learning as the themes to your teaching. At the very least, it gives you an idea of what to teach.

    Do you know how to web a lesson plan?

    Take a look at the link, and let me know if you have webbed a lesson, and I will give you more information.
     
  7. isabunny

    isabunny Comrade

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    Jan 10, 2011

    I am looking at all the information from the above listed websites. Thanks! Any information or help is greatly appreciated. I would also like to here from anyone who is familiar with the Goddard Lesson Planning system. It seems very complicated to me: lots of forms to fill out for each day. If anybody works or has worked for Goddard, I would love any helpful advice. Thanks Again for all the help!!!!!!!
     
  8. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    I took a look at several forms. Does the Goddard form ask for goals and detailed planning?
     
  9. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Give us an idea of what kind of info you have to fill out for each lesson.... then we'll figure out how to make it go faster :)
     
  10. isabunny

    isabunny Comrade

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    We have to fill out a three page lesson plan forms for each day, plus a daily activity sheet that goes on the door of our rooms & filled out for each child in the class to go home each day. The lesson plan forms have subject area (Language Arts, Creative Art, Social Studies, Nature Studies & Science, Computer Lab, Cognitive Skills & Math, Music/Movement and Lastly Motor Skills). For each subject you have to fill out what activity or project you will be doing, which standard it matches, resources needed, teacher directed or student and which time of the day you will be completing the task. It is seven step lesson lesson planning. After you fill out your lesson plan for the day, you must complete the Daily Report sheet which has the same subjects listed and you have to fill out what activities you did and why you did them. An example is "We made an ABC book today to work on identifying our upper case and lower case letters." We also have to list if the child napped, what they ate or didn't eat for lunch and a memorable moment from their day. I can do the plans. It is just lots of work, especially if you are a newer teacher and you don't have all the resources from prior teaching years. The part I am having trouble with is that half of the lesson plans have to fit with the current theme of the whole school. So if the theme is Transportation for that week, half of all the plans must do with that theme. It is hard for me to come up with a whole week (half of the plans) in that theme. Is it common for other preschools to fill out this many forms for every day? Do you all have to do a month of plans ahead of time? I have worked in Kindergarten (public school) and we didn't have to come up with such detailed plans for each day.
     
  11. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    No, it is too much. While it does make sure you are doing enough lesson planning, it is overkill. In a day care there is not enough time to be so detailed. I would suggest you get a book as suggested above, and follow a preset curriculum.

    The infor is similar to Head Start required info. In HS there are short cuts. Like, are the standards listed and numbered? In HS all you have to list is a reference number, and you can get that down really fast.

    Can you make one activity work for more than one goal? Like, putting flowers in the housekeeping area can work for science and housekeeping. Cars in the block area can work for math and small motor skills.

    You probably don't want to post the form for all to see, but if you will PM me, I can help more. And, let me know what the school wide theme is for the month. I am great with lesson plans.
     
  12. isabunny

    isabunny Comrade

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    Jan 11, 2011

    Thanks for the suggestion. I will order the book. I did go to the school box store and buy some curriculum planning books for pre-k. Those books have been helpful. I am also finding many theme related items on the internet. I can teach Pre-K and do a great job at it! I guess I am just griping about the workload and all the paperwork. Most of the curricular goals/activities/subject areas ect... are already included in the structure of the classroom, so it seems crazy to plan those 8 activities on top of the regular structured activities, fill out daily sheets, and have to explain why you are doing it. The centers are all planned around the standards anyway. Any good teacher hits on all the subject areas within the daily structure. I don't think the students need all those extra, new activities each day. Do they really need to play a different computer game each day of the month, or sing and dance to a different song? They learn by playing the same game or singing the same song multiple times, and then the teacher adding to or changing when the students have developed the skill, or wants to push the students to reach their potential. I have always believed in an incremental approach to learning.
     
  13. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Jan 11, 2011

    I worked at a different chain... we did have a pla to fill out each day, and a curriculum to follow, but it was not nearly that detailed. While all of those things are thinigs we consider when planning, writing them all out each day seems like overkill.

    With our curriculum, they gave us a set of overall curriculum goals for each week (copies simple shapes, identifies colors, makes letter-sound matches, makes prints, etc)... we had a school-wide theem for each week, and a focus letter. Activities needed to hit all the curriculum areas (although if we swapped things from one week to another to better fit the theme, my center didn't care although some others were more strict) and fit with the letter and/or the theme.

    One of their suggestions was to take each of the curriculur goals (they spiraled, so we hit almost everything at least once a month) and brainstorm a list of non-theme-specific activities tht we could use to hit them in as many areas as possible. Then, when that objective came up, we had a whole list of different things we could do in a variety of areas to pull from, depending on the theme.

    For instance... if the objective was patterning, the list miht look like...

    *pattern with people (boy/girl, stand/sit, etc)
    *necklaces or bracelets
    *glue patterns onto paper
    *pattern with erasers or collectables
    *match patterns
    *tape objects onto blocks and challenge kids to use the blocks to make a pattern

    etc...

    That might make your job easier. We never actually got around to doing that, but it's something I'm considering working on for my curriculum standards over the summer, I feel liek I hit some things all the time and struggle to hit others.
     
  14. smpeterson77

    smpeterson77 Rookie

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    Jan 12, 2011

    Hi! I started at a Goddard not to long ago as the Head Teacher in the Get Set room. I know is seems like a lot at first, but it does get so much easier! DO you have access to the lesson plans from last year? I know they are supposed to keep them for a year. I have gotten a lot of ideas from my predecessor's plans. I also do whatever I can at home, and leave the things I need school resources for to complete during my prep time. Do you get prep? I know you have older kids than me, but do they have nap time? I usually use my lunch, my prep and their nap to finish what I need. Another thing I suggest: every week, when I photocopy something, like sign language, spanish, yoga etc, I keep a folder for each in my classroom. That way I can start to pull from that for future lessons, and not need to go to the staff room.
    Coming up with theme activities is tough, but what I do is make sure the book I read everyday is theme related, the sign language or spanish they learn it the theme etc. For transportation, you could have them do car related puzzles for motor skills, make cutouts of cars, and number them to have them practice numbers for cognitive, or letters. I use cutouts for memory games, have them use toys in the manipulative center that relate to the theme. I know this is a long response, so pm me if you need help! I am familiar with Goddard lesson planning and have just truly gotten to the point where I feel like I have a handle on it. You will get there too!
    Samantha
     
  15. isabunny

    isabunny Comrade

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    Thank you for the response. It is great to hear from somebody else that works at Goddard. The Goddard system seems very unique and complicated. It seems like, depending on the center you work at, that they require different things. I have make most of my January plans already. Do any other centers require one month of plans upfront? That is were I am having the most difficulty, and I have worked so many hours just coming up with January plans. So glad that that you said it will get easier! The plans from last year aren't available to me, but the themes change every year so I don't think they would be of much help. It is easy to come up with language arts/science/math to fit the theme. Wow, all this planning is so much work, and I just want to really concentrate on my daily schedule, management skills and learning to include gross motor skills with in the day. It is all overwhelming, but working with those cuties is worth all the extra work.:thanks:
     
  16. smpeterson77

    smpeterson77 Rookie

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    Jan 15, 2011

    I don't have to do my daily lesson plans a month in advance, they're due every Tuesday for the following week. I do have to do my calendar a month in advance, where I come up with themes of the day. I guess it would be different from center to center since the owners are different, but I think to some extent Goddard corporate sets the rules as far as what's required to be done on a regular basis.
    I also got caught up with the enormity of what was required of me, and for a week or so I felt so overwhelmed that I forgot to enjoy the kids! What age do you have?



     
  17. isabunny

    isabunny Comrade

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    I have the older Pre-K. I do really enjoy the kids, just not all the paperwork. Our center director comes up with the monthly theme, unit, weekly themes, ect... and then we have to match 50% of the curriculum to the themes. She gives us these three page sheets plus daily activity reports to fill out (all one month ahead). If they had curriculum for us to use, it would be easier. I just spent a fortune buying curriculum guides so I have something to use. I wish all the sheets of paper (all the different activities for each subject) was planned more like a daily plan book. I feel like that would be more usable! Also there are so many things that you do as a teacher daily that reach across the curriculum. I could do a project making a town out of boxes for social science and that project could also count for the art project. But they don't let you double up. You have to come up with different activities daily for each subject! I think I wrote before that 8 different subjects for 31 days is 258 activities. That is just busywork and counterproductive! You can't possibly even get to that many activities during the day. The kids don't need to play different computer games each day (maybe each week). It is hard enough to do all the prep work for projects and lesson plans. To top it all off I don't have any planning time built into my day. I work a full day with no break or lunch. They say nap time is suppose to be the break, but I don't have an assistant, so I can't leave the room and the kids don't sleep (they are almost 5). I am still managing the classroom during the rest time plus trying to get projects ready. I really love teaching and need the job badly. I feel blessed to have employment and to get experience. But this job is not anything like my student teaching experiences or even like the preschools that my own children went to. Hard to get my head around it all!
     
  18. smpeterson77

    smpeterson77 Rookie

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    Jan 19, 2011

    I agree! I also feel like there is a lot of busy work that could be cut back so the focus could be on the kids more. I have the Two and a half to three and a half year olds, so mine do sleep for the most part. I wish that I could count their nap time as my break so that I wouldn't have to do 9 hour days everyday. I get a one hour break, but there is no where to go and eat, so if I want to get out of the room I have to leave the building, and if I stay in the room, I end up working anyway! I have assistants, so I am lucky for that!
     
  19. kgardenready

    kgardenready New Member

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    Jan 20, 2011

    Getting Ready to be a Lead Teacher at Goddard

    I am surprised that the previous Lead Teacher did not leave a portfolio for you to follow. When I worked for Head Start, the previous teacher had a folder of copies of all her lesson plans in a series of giant folders. All I had to do was "gain inspiration" from what she had left in the file cabinet. Have you asked your fellow Lead Teacher's for the opportunity to "take a look" at their lesson plan archives? If your lesson plans are automated on Excel documents (or on other spread sheet programs) you should be able to take a look at the work other Lead Teachers have submitted.

    There is no reason why you should be "reinventing the wheel" by having to come up with lesson plans from scratch. I hope that you can network with the other Lead Teachers so that you can collect some ideas while sharing some of your lesson plans.

    I just wanted to ask: What type of educational requirements are there to teach at the Goddard School? I'm just curious. I'm a preschool teacher for a parochial school, but I would like to teach in the state-funded preschool programs someday. I have a BS in Physical Education plus an AAS (associate degree) in Early Childhood Education Technology. I'm working on my second BS degree in Child Development and Family Life. I feel like I'm going to be in college for the rest of my life!!!
     
  20. smpeterson77

    smpeterson77 Rookie

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    Jan 21, 2011

    Apparently, there is no educational requirement. I do have a degree, and would ultimately like to teach in a public school, but before I was interviewed for the job, it was offered to the woman who is my assistant teacher. She has lots of experience, and has great ideas, but no college. This might differ based on location though since each is individually owned.
     
  21. isabunny

    isabunny Comrade

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    Jan 21, 2011

    I believe that requirements for teaching Georgia Funded Pre-K is a certification from the state of georgia. If you are an out of state teacher (as I am) you can take the state testing and transfer your credential to georgia.

    I am a private pre-K teacher. The Goddard standards, quality assurance and management, are beyond what any person can possibly realistically. The binder for quality is 3 inches think. That is just what your classroom duties are (not including curriculum). It would be an impossibility to do all that is required. An example is that your transition times between activities can only be three minutes. Anybody who teaches preschool knows that transition times can be very smooth, or incredibly difficult depending on many variables: time it takes to clean centers, children that don't want to wake up after naps or are grumpy because parents let them stay up late at night, if you are transitioning from painting or art projects, ect... Three minutes can be done sometimes, but not between every activity all the time. It just isn't possible. I am not a robot and the kids are not robots! And the three minute rule is just one of hundreds.

    I can shrug all that off and make due (except for no break). I am having a hard time not having a minute to relieve myself and take a deep breath. The hardest part is all the curriculum. I feel like I am concentrating on writing all the daily reports and building curriculum all the time, including all my time off. I have been asked to clock out and then work on getting the room set up. There is just lots and lots of unpaid work. I understand that it is common for teachers to work many hours after. I did work a lot prepping when I subbed and student taught, always going above and beyond. The difference is when you teach in a district you are paid a salary. When you are working hourly, it sucks to work an extra 30 hours a week planning. It is frustrating and by the end of the week I am so tired, but I am still having to work all weekend.:dizzy:
     
  22. isabunny

    isabunny Comrade

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    Jan 21, 2011

    smpeterson: I can't believe you get a prep and lunch period. I get no lunch, no prep, no breaks (no assistant to leave for bathroom). I have to call someone and ask if I can go to the restroom. I told my husband today that it is a little humiliating to have to ask to go to the restroom! That just doesn't seem right.
     
  23. smpeterson77

    smpeterson77 Rookie

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    Jan 21, 2011

    I am thankful for the prep. It does help, but like you, I am having to spend a lot of time at home. I don't know how you do it! Sometimes if it's just me and one assistant teacher we do have to call for a bathroom break to stay in ratio. We have 24 enrolled in our class, and the most we have on are biggest days is 22.

    I hear you about the Quality Assurance! It seems like a lot of arbitrary rules that add a lot of busy work to your day, and take attention away from the kids. We had a meeting last night, and were told that we should only have two children on the computer at a time during centers. If we have 22 kids in the room, getting them all on the computer would take forever. Some of it is just nonsense!
    ~Samantha
     
  24. isabunny

    isabunny Comrade

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    Jan 23, 2011

    My class is pretty small. Due to lots and lots and lots of turnover the schools enrollment is really down. Too bad, because it is a very clean and beautiful school. I guess they just don't care much about the teachers and give them an un-realistic amount of workload. Do you get paid for the extra training? We don't get paid for all the mandatory training. Does nobody care about their employees anymore. Don't these owners and directors understand that you have to invest in your employees and keep them somewhat happy to have a great preschool. My children (four years apart) both had the same preschool teachers. That school had little to no turnover. I loved, as a parent, that the teachers knew my whole family and loved their jobs. It made me comfortable to leave my children there for half day preschool.
     
  25. smpeterson77

    smpeterson77 Rookie

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    Jan 23, 2011

    Unfortunately with schools like this, I think the bottom line is the most important thing, even if it means employees fall by the wayside. We do get reimbursed a certain amount per year for education. Our class is packed! I have the opposite problem as you. On some days we have 22 kids in the room. Way too many, even for three adults. On days when we can't go outside, I feel like I'm going crazy! :dizzy: More kids means more money for the school, but the quality of education suffers!
     
  26. seiry

    seiry New Member

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    Sep 28, 2014

    Are you still working at Goddard?
     
  27. Cosorno

    Cosorno New Member

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    Mar 8, 2015

    Help with lesson plans

    Hello I am also a new teacher at Goddard school and i was wondering if anybody can give some names of curriculum
    Books or lesson plan books that can give me good ideas for a pre-k lesson plan. Thanks
     

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