Officially excited yet scared

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by jteach89, Jul 26, 2014.

  1. jteach89

    jteach89 Companion

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    Jul 26, 2014

    Hey all, I've been recently offered a public school position as a Pre-K Teacher! I am ecstatic but nervous. Already thinking ahead...
    Pre-K teachers, what do you do? I've been also stalking the forums so I know there is also some fellow nyc teachers here too. What do you do on the first day of Pre-K? I would love and appreciate some advice, thank you!
     
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  3. Preschool0929

    Preschool0929 Cohort

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    Jul 26, 2014

    Congrats! I'll be honest, the first day of preschool is exhausting! What your first day looks like might depend on the number of students you have and if you are full day or half day. I teach public preschool with an AM and PM session. I have each group for 3 hours.

    The most important thing I get ready for the first day of school is a transportation list. Often, even with students that will ride the bus the rest of the year, parents will want to pick them up the first day, so I always have an accurate transportation list with me & a pen to change anything a parent might tell me at drop off that morning. When students come in, I line everyone up in the hallway with my para & I walk students in 1 by 1, show them where their cubby is, and sit them at a table to color a picture with the words "I drew this on the first day of preschool" at the bottom (this later goes in their portfolio). When everyone is in the room, we go to the carpet and practice how to sit and listen, and sing a good morning song. We go over the classroom rules & play a sorting game of good choices/bad choices with pictures. Meals take a while, as we show everyone how to wash their hands correctly and how to stand in line & wait their turn.

    I usually set up 4 centers for the first day with very limited items in each one. We group the students and rotate them around for 10 minutes in each center, showing how to use the toys appropriately and how to clean up when the clean up music comes on. So, by the time they leave, we'll have practiced cleaning up 4 times. If there's time, I might let them free play in the centers once we're done modeling.

    At the end of the day I read a story and we sing 2-3 songs with motions or movements that we'll practice all week. I usually try to prepare a certificate to send home with every child saying "I did great on my first day of preschool!".
     
  4. jteach89

    jteach89 Companion

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    Jul 27, 2014

    Thank you! and Thanks for your great Ideas, I will be be taking note. I believe I'll have about 18 kids and a para. I also need time to set up the classroom as well. It will more than likely be a half-day since it will be the kids first day. Thank you so much! :wow::thanks::thumb:


     
  5. Froreal3

    Froreal3 Companion

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    Jul 27, 2014

    Congrats on your UPK position. I landed one too, though I've been teaching in childcare centers for a while, so it won't be my first classroom.

    Anyway, the first and most important thing to do is set your expectations for the classroom with the students and parents. During orientation, I intro the classroom to the parents and stress that I am available to them to communicate with and that I value their input and honest communication. I give them my contact info and let them know when and how they can reach me. I also intro them to the types of things their child will be learning. I stress socialization, community, sense of self, and responsibility. I ensure that parents know that I will be contacting them for both achievements and things the child needs to work on. I like to have a welcome label for each child and something for the children to take home on their first day (a picture of an activity they loved or something else depending on your school's resources).

    For the students, we go over the basics for the first two to four weeks depending on how the children react. Many of these children will not have come from such a structured environment. They have all been in day care/preschool. I go over our classroom expectations and consequences. I like to have them "help" me write these and place them in a conspicuous place in the classroom. This is super important. I label our "rules" with pictures of the actual kids.

    I introduce them to the materials in each center and how we use them. I don't fill the centers with a bunch of stuff just yet because they need to learn how to use the items properly (especially pencils, scissors, glue, science items etc).

    I like to use positive behavior reinforcement and catch children "being good" often. I give one warning for disruptive behavior and I have the whole class say, "You can do better! We know you can!" to give the child a chance to correct his/her behavior. If the behavior continues, I simply say, "Walk away." They are not able to participate in the activity/lesson or whatever. Any other call and response to get their attention, I practice with them frequently.

    I go over taking attendance, transitioning from floor to tables, lining up/walking in the hallway quietly. All of these are super important. You could have the best ideas, but bad transitions will ruin your whole day and make your classroom chaotic. I model what to do and what not to do in all of these situations.

    During this intro period, I am not really introducing academic material. I am more so stressing socialization.
     
  6. jteach89

    jteach89 Companion

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    Aug 23, 2014

    Hi @Forreal, sorry for the late reply.. but comming back to this post! You gave some excellent advice, THANK YOU! I'm starting to plan out my first day, and going over procedures/expectations and classroom rules for the first day. However do you list these procedures on paper, with pictures? Do you keep them on the rug for too long? AHh idk why im driving myself crazy..:confused::dizzy:
     
  7. Froreal3

    Froreal3 Companion

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    Aug 24, 2014

    jteach89 I don't keep them on the carpet for long at all. I introduce a couple center materials on the carpet and how we use them etc. But then I have them go off into groups to learn to explore the center. I have them sitting for 5 - 10 minutes at the most at the beginning of the year.

    My classroom rules are demonstrated by the children who I take pictures of. I post the pics along with the rule on poster board. I have the children "help" come up with the rules. We even act out various scenarios or use puppets to come up with the rules.
     
  8. jteach89

    jteach89 Companion

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    Aug 24, 2014


    Great advice. Yea I was thinking of showing the children basics like how to set on the rug. In my previous classroom I took pictures of the kids who demonstrated the general classroom rules. I like the idea of having the children "Help" that way they feel a part of the learning environment. I figured I'd only set up between 2-4 centers on the first day for them to explore. Thanks again! :)
     

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