Should I quit or stay?

Discussion in 'Early Childhood Education Archives' started by MR ARMS PKTEACH, Oct 2, 2005.

  1. MR ARMS PKTEACH

    MR ARMS PKTEACH Rookie

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    I was just hired at a private montessori preschool in August. I co-teach in the morning with the 5K teacher and in the afternoon I teach 3/4K. I love the kids they are tons of fun. My problem is this, I am full-time and hourly for my first year. Next year I will be salaried.
    I was told they could help me with benefits, but now they are saying they cannot. Another issue is that my day runs from 8am to 4pm. My schedule looks like this:

    8:00 am - 8:15 a.m. Set up main room for morning class
    8:15 am - 8:25 a.m. Make copies/Get my room ready for PM class
    8:25 - Students start arriving
    9:00 - AM Class Begins
    11:30 - AM Students Leave
    11:30 - 12:30 Lunch with PM Students (We supervise them and eat our lunch)
    12:30 - 1:00 RECESS (Every other day I supervise recess)
    1:00 - 3:00 PM Preschool Class
    3:00 - 3:30 (Every other day I dismiss the students, and on the days I do not dismiss I am required to clean the bathrooms (yuck!))
    3:30 - 4:00 I am shown montessori materials and how to present them to the children

    So over the weekend I went in for about 3 hours to redo my bulletin board for October and finish my October lesson plans. The Director was there and told me to cut the "extra hours." I do not think these are extra hours, I am hourly and should be paid for whatever hours I put in to the school. I have hardly any planning time during the day.

    Another gripe I have is cleaning the bathrooms. There is a paid cleaning person that comes in every Friday. Why should I have to clean the bathrooms? I mean I have no problem wiping down doorknobs, handles, etc. I did not apply to be the housekeeper though.

    I know this is not the case at other preschools/child care facilities. I have talked to other directors and teachers. So I want to hear from all of you, I am so tempted to apply for another job even though I have only been at the school for a month. What do you think? Am I overreacting?
     
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  3. steever78

    steever78 Rookie

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    Have you talked to the director about it? Maybe you can suggest that instead of cleaning the bathroom you could use that time for planning.
     
  4. MR ARMS PKTEACH

    MR ARMS PKTEACH Rookie

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    I do not have a choice. She cleans the bathrooms every other day. She is salaried, so she comes in on the weekend to do her planning and stays later because she is not hourly.
     
  5. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Oct 2, 2005

    Our hourly teachers have a certain number of paid hours and don't get paid anything extra for additional times they put in. However, they don't have to attend staff meetings or other meetings which take place on their unpaid time.

    If all you have to do is swish around the toilet and sink, then I wouldn't let that be the deciding factor. If salaried teachers did the math and calculated the per hour wage, it would probably come to about $5 an hour. Make your decision on the work itself, the experience it will bring you, your satisfaction with teaching, the opportunity for professional growth.
     
  6. MR ARMS PKTEACH

    MR ARMS PKTEACH Rookie

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    The issue really isn't cleaning the bathroom, but planning time. How can I teach a class without having any planning time during the day?
     
  7. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Ask if you could work on your plans from 11:30 to 12:30(your lunch break time)...or do it on the days that you don't have playground duty.
    I clean the bathroom every day where I work and it doesn't gross me out. I didn't apply for the custodial position, but it is part of the package and as far as a cleaning person coming on Friday's, I hope you don't think that is enough cleaning in a bathroom! They need cleaning daily.
     
  8. MR ARMS PKTEACH

    MR ARMS PKTEACH Rookie

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    I cannot work on plans during lunch because I am eating my lunch and watching the kids eating lunch at the same time. Yes I do get a half hour when I do not have playground duty, but that only equals to at the most an hour and a half. I need time to switch out the activities in my room, make copies, do the actual lesson plans. I do not think an hour and a half is enough time to complete those tasks.
     
  9. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    No, it's not enough time, I agree. Well, I guess you will need to discuss this with the right people...are there any who can help you out? I only have one hour a week to plan, but my kids sleep in the afternoon and I am able to get some things done then. I don't like to take things home with me. Well, I wish I knew what to tell you. Jobs can be hard to come by in some parts of the country, so balance out the good and the bad and sleep on it...the correct answer will come to you.
     
  10. MR ARMS PKTEACH

    MR ARMS PKTEACH Rookie

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    Well I wish there was someone who could help me. The director is also the kindergarten teacher and it is just her and I. What makes it worse is that I teach Pre-K and on top of that I teach Nutrition to 4K and 5K twice a month and Art to 4K and 5K twice a month AND I teach about a country a month. So essentially I have my lesson plans, 2 art lessons, 2 nutrition lessons and a country lesson to do in the allotted time.
     
  11. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    It's hard to really tell someone else what they should do because we all have different capabilities, environments to work in, etc. I have to be 2 weeks ahead on all of my plans. I have 13 children and am required to do one art lesson/project per day, have a circle time every day, and have centers appropriately set up, take the children outside daily, clean the bathrooms daily( I usually do this twice a day because they STINK if I don't)...and write out parent notes as required, write a parent board called the "What We Did Today", daily attendance, vacuum my room at the end of the day and take the garbage down, serve them lunch(although I have managed to make that my break time to get away from the ----job!), get them down for nap, fold up their bags afterwards and serve them snack, on and on and on. The only time of the day I TRULY enjoy is the morning time when I am actually teaching...art, stories, calendar, writing, singing, and things like that. I will tell you that my pay is not what it should be...and we have hardly any benefits. I have insurance from my husbands job. If you need to get insurance, then I would find a job where you can get that. It is important.
     
  12. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    Any way the bathroom cleaning can be cut down to 15 minutes rather than 1/2 hour......maybe it's me, but that seems like a long time, or is it a multiple stall bathroom? Also, maybe you could ask them to cut back on the time for showing you materials to 15 minutes as well. Is this something you will need to do everyday, all year? That seems like a lot of time too if it is daily, but I'm not at all familiar with Montessori, so hard to comment. If you lay it out to them, and explain it how you did here, I don't know how they can refuse. Just a thought.
     
  13. MR ARMS PKTEACH

    MR ARMS PKTEACH Rookie

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    There are two bathrooms, besides having to clean both bathrooms I have to disinfect all the door knobs, and lock everything up except the main door, that is why it takes a half hour. As far as montessori materials, she has to show me the work because she wants me to present it the exact same way she does for consistency. That is one of the key areas or something of the montessori method, I do not know that much about it because I am not trained in that area. I was offered a position at a public school as an assistant in a pre-k class but I was interested in montessori and decided to try it. I feel like such an idiot only being at the school for one month and then trying to leave but I feel like I'm not fulfilling my obligations to my PM Pre-K class because I do not have time to plan an exciting and enriching curriculum because of all the other duties.
     
  14. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    Oh, I see, that is a lot of cleaning. Your situation makes me much more thankful for my job. You have a lot to do!!! That is too bad, I hope you can change things around some how so you can do all of those fun and exciting things you had in mind when you took the job. Best wishes! Sorry I'm not much help! :(
     
  15. jcg

    jcg Cohort

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    How many people work in this system? It sounds like you are being taken advantage of. This seems to be a problem for all preschool people who are so important to all of us at the elementary level. When I worked at Head Start we got involved with a union and at first it made our life harder and then it became easier!
     
  16. Lovelabs

    Lovelabs Comrade

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    I realize that public school is very different from preschool, but I would not clean the bathroom.....EVER! Did they make it clear to you before they hired you that it was part of the job? I think that is disgraceful. Maybe there's a custodian there who can cover a duty so you can have some planning time! Ridiculous! Is this common at day care facilities?
     
  17. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    At the daycare facility where I did an internship during high school, the teachers take turns cleaning the bathrooms on different days of the week. It's just part of their job.
     
  18. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Yes, daycare/Preschool workers do have cleaning duties. I have been cleaning the bathroom in my classroom for 15 years and it is no big deal. I am not above cleaning a bathroom and it does not make me feel disgraced. I would however feel disgraced if I "didn't" keep it clean and someone wanting to use it found it to be dirty.
     
  19. Lovelabs

    Lovelabs Comrade

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    I didn't mean to offend you. I just called a friend at one of our local facilities and they have a custodian, but she said others do not. I guess I never really thought about who took care of those things. More power to you, if you don't mind doing it, but I would not.
     
  20. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    It would bother me if this was adult bathroom, but it's the little ones bathroom. I used to share the duty with the teacher next door, but she would always forget and it just drove me crazy because it was stinky! So, I made a "deal" with her. She takes care of our storage closet(which is where we rotate toys in our center and it is an awful job)...and I take care of the bathroom.Works like a charm. It would be nice not to have to clean at all, but that's the way it goes. I always figure the 2 and 1/2 hours free time in the afternoons makes up for having to clean the bathroom.
     
  21. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Oh I forgot to mention that in centers the bathrooms are not like the ones in schools...usually. The one that I clean is very small, two stools and not even a sink in there.
     
  22. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    I just can't get your comment off my mind. Why wouldn't you clean a bathroom? To be disgraced means to feel shameful. Why would that make you feel shameful? I would feel shameful if I mistreated another human being, but not for cleaning a bathroom. I just don't get it.
     
  23. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    At the very first school I taught at over 17 years ago, we didn't have a custodian.........except for the teachers. We had to do all the cleaning of our classrooms.floors, garbage, washing of desks,etc. I didn't have a bathroom in my classroom but the Kinder teacher did, and she cleaned it daily.
     
  24. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    For starters, do you get a lunch hour to recuperate? By the sounds of your schedule it seems like you don't get a break.

    Secondly, I can tell you every single daycare I have worked at, even at the local YWCA center that had a janitor, the teachers took responsibility in cleaning their rooms which included cleaning the bathroom. Yes, they complained and said the exact things you did, but there is no reason that teachers can not lift a finger to clean when it doesn't take more than a small portion of time. If you act like you are too good to clean the bathrooms then that is going to give people a bad impression of you. You are there to work as a team with the other teachers, which includes lending a helping hand in the bathrooms. Also, just because there is a cleaning staff doesn't mean they have enough time for every single things that needs to be done as well. There's no reason teachers can't help out and work as part of the team.

    Thirdly, I never paid my staff overtime that was not approved beforehand. Did you get approval before you came in extra hours? I understand you had things to do, but if it wasn't approved then I don't blame them. You can't assume to be paid when they were not approved for the extra hours. That's with ANY company, not just daycare.

    Lastly, if you have these gripes then the only solution is to use your voice and talk to the director. Nothing will get solved unless something is mentioned.

    I didn't mean to sound rude. Now that I read it it sounds a little harsh, but you have to realize that these are normal business practices...except for the lunch. You should be given a lunch break if you are not already getting one. Other than that, these sound like normal daycare and business situations.
     
  25. hescollin

    hescollin Fanatic

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    Even in the public school, if we have extra trash and it needs emptied. I empty it. I disinfect door knobs, pencils and desk daily. We have a janitor, but I like to have the room cleaned daily and if it gets it twice in one day fine and dandy. At home I do lots of getting stuff ready for the students. I buy lots of things to make my lessons top notch. I give a lot more hours than stated on my contract. I love my job, I love the students, I am thankful for my job and it is great. You need to consider are you thankful to have a job. Are you going to give 110% to get a good reference and the knowledge you started thinking you wanted? You need to put it in writing pros and cons for yourself. Decide do you want the experience, reference and etc. If so SMILE and be HAPPY, tell yourself it isn't that bad cleaning and doing the extras. Take pride in your job. Or are you going to change your mind and toss it out the window? You will have to make the decision and live with it.
     
  26. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    I just re-read a couple of posts and I answered my own question about the break. Although, a break time should be able to be used for your own purposes, not work. It seems like they need to revamp a couple of issues, but sometimes you just have to be able to deal with things. Every center can only do so much...depends on funding, etc. Are there times within the day where you can sit on the floor with the kids with your planning books? Meaning, the kids have free time and you can plan and watch at the same time. It's not too hard to do.
     
  27. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    JenPooh, in our center we are really not supposed to do that.....but we all do it anyway because if we didn't we would never ever get all out planning done. On top of it all we have to do portfolios for the kids.
     
  28. ksmomy

    ksmomy Companion

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    Well, you guys are making me feel better about my schedule. I'm not alone. I also clean bathrooms and my room. ( I try to take turns with my assistant.) I end up having very little planning time. I have tried to find ways around it but I still bring a lot of things home. Fortunately, I love what I do.
     
  29. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    Me too Grammy. Actually, that's what I'm in the middle of doing right now, but online. Being home gives me a little more flexibility, however, my open hours are from 7am-5:30pm, anytime other than that, I refuse to do "work" related things, unless it's shopping. Helps me keep my home and work seperate, as that is sometimes hard to do when you work out of your home.

    I know it sometimes may look bad to some when they see a teacher doing lesson work while they are watching the kids, but I think if you are down on the floor, doing your work, there are ways you can interact and plan at the same time while still looking professional. Like you said, there is no way to get it all done if you didn't unless you work at a center that doesn't have any lesson requirements...I've worked at a few of those...ugh.
     
  30. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    I think the planning time issue is common for everyone. It seems to be a common problem with any teacher. When I worked outside of the home I was always able to get my planning done, but a lot of the times it was the extra stuff that was difficult to finish...cutting, preparing for the next day, making cut outs, etc. The best you can do is just use your time wisely.

    The more and more I read I think of more things. First of all, I'm confussed again on if you get a break every day. The way you put it seems like you only get an hour and a half every week...is that right? Plus, it seems like you are still responsible for the children while on a break...is that true or false? That doesn't seem fair. At least if you had mental time away from the classroom it wouldn't be so bad. Does it maybe seem a little harder to plan because you are working with a method you are unfamiliar with? If that seems to be a roadblock it would be understandable. How can you plan when you are not trained in their method?

    If your only issue and main gripe is that you can't get enough planning time in, then I would talk to the director. Maybe you could get an extra half hour a day to plan, or extra hour a week. Ask if you can plan while you play with the kids, etc. Just talk to her, it's better than not talking at all even if you don't get the answer you're looking for.
     
  31. MR ARMS PKTEACH

    MR ARMS PKTEACH Rookie

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    No I cannot sit on the floor with my planning book. My schedule goes:
    Free Play
    Group Lesson
    Snack
    Small Group Lessons
    1 - Math
    2 - Language
    3 - Science/Civics
    Clean Up

    I work with my students except during free play when I am taking attendance and preparing the things for the day because I do not have planning time.

    I have a 30 minute break every other day. I use the break for planning and preparing things for the PM class.
     
  32. MR ARMS PKTEACH

    MR ARMS PKTEACH Rookie

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    Also, I am not saying I have a problem cleaning the bathroom, my issue is, if I have to clean the bathroom shouldn't I get an extra half hour added on to the day to do my planning? This whole situation would be different if I was salaried.

    My schedule looks something like this every other week:
    8:00-9:00 - Prepare main classroom, bring students inside
    9:00-11:00 - Work time (Working with individual students on various activities)
    11:00-11:30 - AM Recess (Monitor recess)
    11:30-12:30 - Lunch (Prep students for lunch ex. handwashing, etc., Eat lunch, Students clean up, Prep for recess)
    12:30-1:00 - PM Recess (Monitor recess)
    1:00-3:00 - PM Pre-School
    3:00-3:30 - Clean bathrooms, lock up building
    3:30-4:00 - I am trained on montessori materials


    My schedule looks something like this every other week:
    8:00-9:00 - Prepare main classroom, bring students inside
    9:00-11:00 - Work time (Working with individual students on various activities)
    11:00-11:30 - AM Recess (Monitor recess)
    11:30-12:30 - Lunch (Prep students for lunch ex. handwashing, etc., Eat lunch, Students clean up, Prep for recess)
    12:30-1:00 - PM Recess (I get to stay inside to "relax"/PLAN)
    1:00-3:00 - PM Pre-School
    3:00-3:30 - Take children to cars for dismissal
    3:30-4:00 - I am trained on montessori materials
     
  33. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I quit a preschool setting becaue of many issues where I felt that I was not valued as a PROFESSIONAL. Bathroom issues were one factor. I also had a supervisor who thought my class of 2-5 year olds should be QUIET during table center time (they were talking productively about their creations, etc but he did not get it) I was asked to give up prep time A LOT because they couldn't always get coverage (getting coverage for PreK was not priority- I was in a school with other grades that would get priority for subs/coverage when someone was out) Teachers in the lunch room thought my job was CUTE. Parents came late, paid late etc..... with very little support from my supervisor because he had other things he wanted to think about and just didn't want to be bothered with PreK. I started in Sept one year, knew by Thanksgiving that I would be looking for something else for the next year. Sent out resumes starting in the spring and got a job offer in May for where I am now (a great district that values me as a PROFESSIONAL).

    If your boss is also cleaning bathrooms there's not going to be a lot of empathy co ing your way from her. Keep doing our nob the best you can, and START sending out the resumes. Give as much time as possible notice when you get a new job offer and head off to new horizons.
     
  34. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    One of the main factors to look for when applying for a teaching position is the planning time. It is so important to have enough time to do a good job with the kids. Especially when you are new, and it sounds as though you are fairly new. A veteran teacher might be able to pull off lessons plans with ease, but when you are new, it can be quite the struggle to get it all together. There is no point in doing what you are doing if you are feeling so miserable about it. There are tons of jobs that you can do to make money and feel miserable at the same time. You want to be teacher, right? And a good one at that. SO......talk to your director about your concerns and if that doesn't change things for you, start job hunting. But this time, ask about the planning time!
     
  35. Frances

    Frances New Member

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    Hi! I taught Montessori for 5 years and dearly loved the method and philosohpy. I am 51 years old and if you do not have a B.A. in education, I strongly advise you to go back to school. You need an assistant if you do not have one. My assistant and I divided the classroom in half and after teaching extended day, she would clean the Practical Life and Sensorial areas, and I would dust and clean the Language, Math, Scien and Geography areas. As you know by now, Montessori is BIG on the children walking into a clean and prepared environment and there is nothing wrong with that, but you do deserve breaks. I, too, ate with the children, played outside and patted backs to sleep. I am now in South Carolina and there are public Montessori schools but I do not have my BA and as you know, no colleges give credit for all the hard work that we pursue to obtain Montessori certification. As a mother, a teacher, and a fellow Montessorian, I urge you to get your BA. If you have that, look for another job, or present your concerns to the board of directors. Nobody wants to lose a dedicated Montessori teacher. North Carolina didn't want me to leave, but my husband's job did. Good luck and if you need an ear, I'll listen! Sincerely, Frances Fennell
     
  36. Butterfly4

    Butterfly4 Comrade

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    I'm going to school part time and working only afternoons. I'm teaching an afternoon 4yr old class from 2:00 to 6:30pm, paid hourly. I do the lesson plans for my time with the kids, but I just have no time during my workday to do the planning. It seems I am spending 10-15 hours a week at home planning. Occasionally I can go in at 1:30 and get away with it, but it still doesn't seem like enough time. I do enjoy doing the planning, but it just seems like it's consuming too much of my free time. Do most teachers spend lots of time at home doing that?

    Also, with the cleaning, I was thinking I had it bad, but after reading some of your posts, it's not too tough. I have to "pick up" the bathrooms (tp, etc) clean glass and mirrors (which can be a lot cause our walls are mostly glass between each room). I also have to sweep if needed (playdoiugh, rice table, etc), wash all 5 tables in the room, spray disinfectant everywhere. Make sure all shelbes, baseboards & windowsills are dust free (which I have yet to do...but I guess I'll have to at some point). Anyway, seems like a lot. They have a cleaning crew that comes in nightly...what do they do?? vaccuum and clean toilet?
     
  37. scarlet_begonia

    scarlet_begonia Comrade

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    You know, sometimes, that's just the workload in preschool. My kids nap for an hour a day. 1/2 hour is break for me, the other 1/2 hour is break for my aide. Our "other" half hour is considered our "prep" time. But we have to take turns cleaning, we have to keep portfolios on each child including weekly/biweekly ancedotals, monthly literacy prompts, and monthly/bimonthly work samples. There is a form for each of these. It works out to about 5 forms a month for each child (15 children total.) We also have to prepare weekly notes home to parents, in addition to our lesson plans that must have coded expectations included. Oh, and the monthly assessments that I don't even do. The staff takes turns cleaning the bathrooms (11 toilets/8 sinks total), mopping the floors, vacuuming, and taking out the trash. I am not allowed to use the copy machine and must write everything out by hand. Subsquently, I take a lot of work home.

    You have to decide if it's worth it for you to stay, and if you can find another job, don't feel guilty about bettering your situation!!!!!! We are all within our rights to take the best oppourtunity that presents itself, and I think if you're really unhappy you should NOT feel embarrased or bad about looking for something better for you!
     
  38. k tchr

    k tchr New Member

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    Oct 3, 2005

    Give it time

    Give yourself time to adjust to the schedule and routine. Try to cut down on the "extras" by having the children create the materials for the bulletin boards. That way all you have to do is put up a background paper and border. The rest of the work is completed by the children. The amount of planning time should be minimal because you simply provide the materials and allow the children to do with them as they wish (according to Montessori theory). After a few months you will have a much better feel for how things go. Talk to your colleages...they are most likely having the same complaints as you have about cleaning the bathroom. Discuss ways to change the problems you are having.
     
  39. MR ARMS PKTEACH

    MR ARMS PKTEACH Rookie

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    Oct 3, 2005

    I am not planning for the montessori classroom. I am planning for a regular pre-k afternoon class.
     
  40. scarlet_begonia

    scarlet_begonia Comrade

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    Oct 3, 2005

    k tchr, you're so much more proactive than me! I like your suggestions. Mr. Arms, I think that even if you're going to look for something else you should still see if there's anything you can change--you may not find anything else, or you may become pleasantly surprised as you get used to your job! Good luck!
     
  41. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    Oct 3, 2005

    That must be really hard to have to plan for both, especially with no planning time! YIKES! How do you switch gears from am to pm?
     

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