Preteaching Worries...Any advice?

Discussion in 'Kindergarten' started by KinderWonder, Feb 4, 2010.

  1. KinderWonder

    KinderWonder Rookie

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    Feb 4, 2010

    Hi all,

    I stalk these boards nearly everyday and I post occasionally. I am currently a freshman in college taking my prerequisites for Elementary Education. I am the type of person that researches everything and thinks constantly, I even made a website to compile all my ideas on. However, after all my constant thinking I have some worries that I have not yet figured out how to remedy. Am I weird or do most people worry about these things? If you do/did how did you cope?

    1) I am worried that I will not be able to bring myself down to their level (intellectually) and if I do, I am worried I might bring myself down too far and then compromise their success as students.
    2) I am worried I will feel the urge to correct everything. For example, if they write a sentence that is obviously wrong, I will feel the urge to correct it and I am not sure if I should, as I have seen other teachers not correct it...
    3) I am worried I will be too strict or too nice. I am worried I will not be able to find the middle.
    4) I am worried about contact. I love that kindergartners are so friendly and want to hug, however I am worried there will be issues with this and the last thing I would want is to be accused of something!
    5) I am worried about selecting age appropriate books. I tried to check out a couple of books from the library and to me they were, well dumb. I remember liking the books If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, the Rainbow Fish, something about a girls striped socks, and The Lady Who Swallowed a Fly, but I couldn't find them at the library! :confused: I did go to booksamillion and find If you Give a Mouse a cookie and it is not as good as it was when I was little, so I have no idea any more...

    I believe that is all for now, I honestly can't hear myself think right now. I will probably have more later. Thanks in advance for any help or recommendations! :)
     
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  3. amaran20

    amaran20 Rookie

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    Feb 4, 2010

    Hey,
    You're in a teacher prep program in college? I know that when I was in college (1 year ago :p) my professors were SO helpful and I had lots of experiences to be in classrooms without having so much responsibility so I would start getting comfortable. I worry about everything and I mean EVERYTHING, so I know where you're coming from, but a lot of this you'll figure out just by getting in the classroom and learning from your experiences. Believe me I'm STILL figuring out how the find the balance between being too strict and too nice, and I'm sure I'll be figuring this out for a while. As for contact, I would ask your professors before you go into a school and they can let you know about your district's policy. I teach a prek autism class and hugs are a daily occurrence. Every district is different. As for books, do you take a children's literature class in college? That will help you out there :)
     
  4. halpey1

    halpey1 Groupie

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    Feb 4, 2010

    Whoah - you are a serious WORRY WORT! Stop worrying! The magic of kindergarten (and it's truly magical), is the kids let you know a lot about what is appropriate and what isn't. Let's see if I can help you relax a little..

    1) I am worried that I will not be able to bring myself down to their level (intellectually) and if I do, I am worried I might bring myself down too far and then compromise their success as students.

    You do have to be brave enough to be silly and allow yourself to fine, explore, and embrace your inner child. Trust me, it's awesome once you let yourself 'let go'.

    2) I am worried I will feel the urge to correct everything. For example, if they write a sentence that is obviously wrong, I will feel the urge to correct it and I am not sure if I should, as I have seen other teachers not correct it...

    You have to remember, they're FIVE. Mistakes are developmentally appropriate - they're just figuring things out. You'll find another, more experienced K mentor who will help you see the beauty in their 'mistakes'.

    3) I am worried I will be too strict or too nice. I am worried I will not be able to find the middle.

    You do have to find a balance. Personally, I find when I feel like I'm being a TOTAL meanie, I'm really being too nice.

    4) I am worried about contact. I love that kindergartners are so friendly and want to hug, however I am worried there will be issues with this and the last thing I would want is to be accused of something!

    This was one thing I worried about myself - I'm a MAN! If you set some ground rules, you'll be fine. My basic rule is EVERYONE (kids and me) must ask before hugging ANYONE - including each other - it's just simple respect. It works. My kids hug me ALL THE TIME. I probably get close to 50 hugs a day - and I'm not exaggerating. They all hold my hand in the hallways too... boys and girls. It's part of kindergarten... what other job can you get 50 hugs a day?

    5) I am worried about selecting age appropriate books. I tried to check out a couple of books from the library and to me they were, well dumb. I remember liking the books If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, the Rainbow Fish, something about a girls striped socks, and The Lady Who Swallowed a Fly, but I couldn't find them at the library! I did go to booksamillion and find If you Give a Mouse a cookie and it is not as good as it was when I was little, so I have no idea any more...

    Again, a good K mentor will help you, it's not as hard as you think.

    Try to relax and remember it's ALL about the kids - that's why we're there. :D
     
  5. futureteach21

    futureteach21 Habitué

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    Feb 4, 2010

    My advice? Go to your classes and soak up as much information as possible. Once you get into your teacher education classes some of your questions will be answered. Volunteer in a school, and pay attention to how the teachers, teach. Make notes, if you want, of what you observe, or any tips to remember when you begin teaching. Ask questions in your classes and ask practicing teachers for their insight.

    With the work you have already done, you are probably miles ahead of other college freshmen hoping to be teachers. Don't stress, just learn as much as you can and you will do great!
     
  6. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Feb 4, 2010

    Definitely the more experiences you get in the classroom you will see that a lot of those things come naturally. I still use regular vocabulary with them-if they don't know what a word means they ask, then they learn something. You learn pretty quickly what needs to be corrected and what can be let go for now. Their writing in particular-inventive spelling is a good thing.

    You can't escape hugs from Kinders-they initiate that all the time. I'll be holding the door for mine and one will hug me (they didn't see me for a whole 20 minutes after all) and it's like dominoes-they all have to do it. I never leave the door shut if I'm with one student in the classroom, but other than that I never really worry about it. You will develop a style when it comes to behavior-I think I'm stricter now than I was when I started teaching, but I still have a lot of fun with them too.

    There are tons of great books for kids. I read a chapter book to them as a read-aloud as well as some sort of children's literature to the every day. You will develop favorites (the kids will develop favorites). I used to check 20 books out of the library and use them, some I liked some I didn't-I just started a mental checklist of what worked.
     
  7. KinderWonder

    KinderWonder Rookie

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    Feb 4, 2010

    Thanks for all the kind words, support, and advice!

    amaran20: Right now I am only in an Introduction to the Teaching Profession course, but I have a required 9 observations hours in an elementary school, unfortunately I don't have the option to choose the grade I want to observe, so I was assigned third grade...I'm not really sure all the other classes I have to take once I get into the actual program, I do know that I do not have to take a childrens literature class as a prerequisite.

    halpey1: I know I worry A LOT! Thanks for answering all my questions individually and with complete honesty. BTW I love your blog, I follow it! :)

    futureteach21: Thanks! I LOVE my prerequisite I am in now, I have a 100% even after five papers, two group projects, and other homework assignments! If you are still in college (as your "title" on the right under the USA states) Good luck to you!!

    KinderCowgirl:Thank you for the advice and personal experience. You have me curious as to the types of chapter books you read? An example or two? I mainly ask because I loved to read as a child so I bought a TON of books from scholastic, many of which were Animal Ark books which I LOVED, I think it would be really cool to incorporate chapter books as well...

    Thanks again everyone!
     
  8. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Feb 7, 2010

    I read different books every year depending on the tastes of the class. This year we've read the Mouse and the Motorcycle, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Toys Go Out/Toy Dance Party and Charlotte's Web. We read a chapter a day and then the kids write about it in a reading response journal. They really look forward to it-laugh when the characters are funny, actually get a little sad to say good-bye to a character.
     
  9. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Feb 7, 2010

    I think you need to relax. You'll do just fine. And remember, when you are finally in the classroom as a teacher for the first time, you will have your colleagues to sort of help guide you, and hopefully a mentor teacher as well. You WILL NOT be in it alone- oh yeah, and this site is very helpful too! :)
     
  10. KinderWonder

    KinderWonder Rookie

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    Feb 8, 2010

    Oh wow, I was reading the Mouse and the Motorcycle in third grade! I remember mainly because I accidentally "stole" the book over summer (I left it in my backpack on accident) and I took it back to my teacher when school started again! I must say I think I really love the idea of reading chapter books to them. Thanks!!

    TamiJ: I very much love this site, like I said I stalk the boards near everyday. I am also in the process of getting to know some elementary school teachers personally (not necessarily kindergarten, but it's a start...)
     
  11. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Feb 8, 2010


    That may very well turn into a blessing.

    When teachers apply for jobs, they don't get to choose the grade or level they'll teach. It's pretty much a matter of taking what you can get (particularly in this economy!!!!) So, when I was rehired (after spending 5 years home with my kids) in 2005, it was to teach 6th and 7th grade math. By the time school actually started, it was all 7th. In the years since then, I've also taught Algebra, Geometry, SAT prep, and a few weeks of Precalc. (The precalc teacher was out on maternity leave, and they knew I had taught the class many times, so it wasn't an issue.)

    My point is that while you may hope for Kindergarten, you'll need to be ready, willing, and able to teach any and all grades within the range of your certification.

    So enjoy 3rd grade, and trust that the people in your college are doing their jobs in preparing you to teach.
     

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