replacing a teacher during school year

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by time2teach, Sep 17, 2008.

  1. time2teach

    time2teach Companion

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    Sep 17, 2008

    This is sort of a hypothetical situation at this point, but a real possibility in the next few weeks so.....

    Here's the scenario: A preK teacher may have to leave due to personal problems and you have been asked to take over- now that the school year has started. Private school, very small class (less than 10), structured curriculum.

    How would you go about the transition?
    What would you do the first few weeks? Treat it like beginning of year?
    What questions would you want to ask the teacher and the administrator about the situation before "going in"?
    Any ideas/advice welcome.
     
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  3. PennStateCutie

    PennStateCutie Companion

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    Sep 17, 2008

    I think that in order to make it easier for the kids, you should have a week of transition time w/ the old teacher (together). This way, you can see which things you can keep the same (at least for a while) and which things you think that you need to change right away. Kids are ok with change, but it has to be gradual, so try to keep things as similar as possible to the previous teacher's and then change maybe a couple of things per week and tell the kids you're trying "something new"
     
  4. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Sep 17, 2008

    I did it in 2000, a few months after I quit to become a SAHM. Apparently my replacement was a disaster-- they called and asked me to come back and cover 3 classes a day. But that was with 9th graders, so take this for what it's worth.

    I think the first thing the kids will be worried about is their routine. Kids that age have a strong sense of how things SHOULD BE DONE-- the way the previous teacher did them. So I would make a real effort to find out the little nuances if at all possible.

    But I wouldn't take it to the extreme of asking the principal. I think the only things I would need to ask the principal about would be health/safety issues (allergies, kids who bite-- that sort of thing.)
     
  5. time2teach

    time2teach Companion

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    Sep 17, 2008

    Thanks for the input, I agree, IF this happens- that a week of transition would be great. I used to teach K4 years ago, so I know the curriculum and general stuff. It would just be a matter of transitioning. I hope that would be possible. I have observed this class before so I know the teaching style of the teacher, and I'm totally different...but I think the kids would be ok with that because I am more "energetic" in my teaching and little ones like that.

    I know some general school rules I would like to get directly from the administrator. He would be more than willing to sit down with me and go over the "new teacher" stuff.

    Anyone else got any hints? Things I may not have thought of?
     
  6. Prekfreak

    Prekfreak Rookie

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    Sep 17, 2008

    I came in as a duration of leave sub from Jan to May and I visited the class 2 days and then was gone a few. Started the following Monday. In the beginning I tried really hard to do things the way they were before, even calling the class Mrs. X's class. After a few weeks I slowly began putting in some changes, calling them my class, etc. My first week was done as far as lesson plans and then again I tried to follow the other teachers and then slowly changed it to what I wanted.
     
  7. time2teach

    time2teach Companion

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    Sep 18, 2008

    So glad to hear others have been in this situation. If I find myself in this situation I know I can come here for some support.
     
  8. blkkatt

    blkkatt New Member

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    Sep 29, 2008

    been there

    Hi,

    Last spring, I took over a preschool class in a private school with a set curriculum. The previous teacher had not been meeting the guidelines that were laid out by the school. At first, I tried to do everything that the previous teacher had done, but it didn’t really work for me. Finally, I had to work out my own routine. I told the students that we were going to do things differently from now on. The kids balked because we were changing their routines. You KNOW how well that went, but I was consistent in the new routine and by the end of the year, we finished the pre set curriculum a few days early. My advice would be to not be afraid of change. If something doesn’t work for your class, do something different. When you take over a class, it is your responsibility to teach those students. You have to do what works for YOU. I learned this the hard way. I hope this helps!

    blkkatt
     
  9. Miss J. Pre-K

    Miss J. Pre-K Comrade

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    Sep 30, 2008

    I started at a Headstart teaching four's three weeks after school started and all the home visits had been done. I had a week with the old teacher and the kids--which did nothing for me because she is one of those people you wonder why they got into teaching. Yelling constantly, loud during naptime, doing her homework instead of creating stuff for kids during planning, etc.

    So we had to start over, because the kids had been playing all day, no circle time, no small group activities, etc. Things I did or wish I had done:

    --Have the old teacher introduce you to the parents asap. Parents really wonder what is going to happen to their children with a new teacher.
    --Write a letter home introducing yourself, your background, and maybe your interests for parents who can't meet you.
    --Get your assistant on board (if you have one). Ask what she likes to do in the classroom, what she did with the old teacher, what her discipline style is so you'll be consistent.
    --Change things around--After a couple of weeks, I did change out some things in centers. Every center's still in the same place, but arranged differently.
    --Ask where important things are--forms you will need, sample lesson plans, post-its, etc. If your assistant has been there all year, she'll be a big help. Mine started with me, so we spend way too long looking for forms.
    --Be consistent--kids will test you, so you need to have a discipline system in place and consistently use it. After about a month in, parents are saying that their children seem happier, and the room is much less chaotic. :)
     
  10. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Oct 5, 2008

    More times than I care to remember.....

    Uh, this has been me for the last few years...

    I honestly have to say, I have a hard time dealing with the aides who don't want me in the classroom. I have been told in the interviews that the aides are difficult, and I wonder out loud, why the heck don't you get rid of them instead of watching teachers go thru a revolving door?

    On the positive side...I would agree it is best to shadow the previous teacher, if possible. If not, try to do as much as the regular program has been doing. Do not come in Monday and pull down all the bulletin board and change out the posters. This is too much for everyone. Gradually, add your own things, and ideas. If they resist, explain why you are doing what you do, and that you are different.

    I still have people asking about the old teacher....

    I think for many kids, parents and teacher aides....they are in denial and refuse to belive the other teacher is gone.

    This is very hard. :unsure:

    It can be done...but I think overall, the entire program has to be supportive of you. Kids pick up on the emotions of those around them. If the other teachers and parents are not willing to work with you...

    well... let's just imagine this will not happen...

    but dig in your heels, and get your heavy coat... this is will be a long winter
     
  11. missrachel

    missrachel New Member

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    Oct 6, 2008

    i just started teaching head start today in a classroom of mostly 3 year olds. i got to observe 1 day last week, but was pretty horrified at the lack of structure and the discipline style. i'm definitely holding back when it comes to making all the changes i want and see the kids need, but i am planning to make these changes gradually.

    my biggest concern right now is that the aid is totally unsupportive of change and seems offended if i mention anything since she's been acting as supervising teacher up to this point. how do i get her on board with me and lead the room though i'm coming in in the middle?

    secondly, there is no behavior system in place, and yelling/scaring the kids is the way to get them to behave -- which is something i refuse to do. how do i get them to behave using a normal, but effective, behavioral system when they don't see this as meaningful since they're used to more drastic, extreme measures?

    anyway, i'm so frustrated because i love this age, love teaching, love the purpose/vision of Head Start, but feel very stuck right now. any help would be awesome!
     
  12. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Oct 6, 2008

    Sounds like you could start by saying (deserved or not) "thanks for all the hard work you put into this class while they were in transition. Can you tell me about how things are working and why you chose the things you did. Can you get me up to speed on each child as you see them?" and so on. That way they don't feel you just stole it from them. Perhaps you can have a discussion about the research behind what you want to implement and spin it so it is part of what the aide said to you.

    She still may not be on board, but at least you can tell the super you spoke with her and actually tried to make a relationship work.
     
  13. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Oct 7, 2008

    Let the rocks come my way, but I say,

    You are the teacher... she needs to follow your lead.
     

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