Quest. for public pre-K teachers....

Discussion in 'Early Childhood Education Archives' started by amethyst, Feb 26, 2006.

  1. amethyst

    amethyst Companion

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    Feb 26, 2006

    Right now, I'm student teaching in lower elem. and I've been very disappointed to find out how much "teaching to the test" is being done and things like that. It seems like there's so little room for creativity and things like that. Even in Kindergarten.

    So, I was wondering, if you teach Pre-K in a public school, is it also like that? This school doesn't have Pre-K and my experiences with Pre-K have all been in private day care centers, so obviously it was different.

    I just don't don't know what to do, because I feel like I am just not going to like this at all. I know I would like preschool better than where I am now, but I'm not sure. I'm also afraid that there just are not enough preschool jobs in public schools and that if I got one, I could at some point, be switched to another grade, which I would not like.

    :(
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Feb 26, 2006

    You happen to be student teaching during 'test season'. It isn't always like that. I teach 2nd grade and don't have a mandated test other than a few low pressure year-end assessments for the district. There's lots of room for creativity, in my distict at least.

    PS- before teaching 2nd grade I taught PreK in a public school- beleive me, it has its challenges as well. You need to ask yourself if teaching really is for you after all. All grade levels will have their challenges, hoops to jump through, frustrations.
     
  4. Lainie

    Lainie Companion

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    Feb 27, 2006

    I think that we are fast approaching a world where there's a pre-k class (or two) at every public school. I'm pretty sure that here in Wichita, they're getting ready to add one to every elementary school. I don't know if that's a good thing necessarily...

    I know this though: public school traumatized me. (middle and high school) I started school happy, outgoing, eager to learn... I graduated scared of my peers and painfully shy, and only scraped by well enough to get the heck out of there, and for that reason, I'm sticking with Head Start. It's safe here.
     
  5. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Feb 27, 2006

    Teaching to the test is the second stupidest way to raise test scores. (The stupidest is totally disregarding the test and the curriculum, not that that really happens.) It shouldn't be happening in any school at any level. I think tests are sort of inevitable right now - the tests won't go away until The System is convinced that they're no longer needed, and as long as kids lag, that's taken as evidence that testing is still required. But it's perfectly possible to prepare children well for tests without teaching to the test. Doing so, however, requires the teacher to understand fully and intimately (a) what skills and attitudes contribute to success on tests and (b) which of those skills and attitudes can be encouraged as well or better without teaching to the test, and (c) how the most useful and transferable skills and attitudes can best be fostered in a given classroom and with a particular cohort of students. It also requires that the teacher be able to defend his or her approach, by citing theorists, research literature, and local results as appropriate. What's more it requires that administrators have enough faith in the process and in the teachers to keep their hands to themselves.

    Half-baked as No Child Left Behind has been in the implementation, it is at the latter point that it COULD come in handy: the teacher who is clearly "Highly Qualified" AND who can coherently and forcefully argue for more creativity in the classroom rather than test-item-parrotting is likelier to gain a hearing and to get the big shots to back off than is the teacher who can't. And here there is definitely more safety in numbers: it's going to take LOTS of teachers who have the paper qualifications and can also marshal and present solid evidence.

    Teaching to the test mostly hasn't infected pre-K yet because the kids are SO young and because institutional inertia is what it is. But the day is almost certainly coming; and when it hits, it will be difficult to resist because too many people with fancy titles and big incomes and no experience on the ground will be demanding change based on what they think they know about what pre-K is and what it needs. The pressure can be resisted only if pre-K teachers and the rest of us start working very hard to craft and provide compelling and credible alternatives.
     
  6. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Feb 27, 2006

    I have to agree with Lanie. I have no love for the public school system.When I was a child, I struggled with the people...both student and teacher behaviors...it was my first experience with disappointment and when my own children were in school, I...as an adult could really see why I disliked being there. It's what we call an imperfect world and it is too bad that we all have to deal with it.
    Anyway, yes Preschool is creeping into most public schools and I feel it is a very bad thing. I work in a private daycare/Preschool and I see the drawbacks loud and clear every single day when my students return from the school.
    P.S. I do like Headstart
    As far as teaching in a Public school, the money is better than the private schools/daycares. You just have to decide what is most important to you...and take the chance on being moved out of that position. That could happen to any of us.
     
  7. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Feb 27, 2006

    By the way, our Public Schools Preschools are wrapped up in their own egos and they just love to test and label the kids.
     

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