The kids are too much for me

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by Cowpernia, Mar 3, 2007.

  1. Cowpernia

    Cowpernia New Member

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    Mar 3, 2007

    I'm a new preschool teacher this year. After the beginning of the year, I took over an afternoon class for four-year-olds and I love every minute with that class.Then the three-year-old teacher left and I was put in that class in the morning (temporarily they say but I'm not believing it til I see it) and every adult non-parent who comes into that room says, "This is too much." We have several kids with parents in jail/prison. We have kids with the same father and different moms. This is just to tell you what their home life must be like. In class, they not only don't listen but they are defiant. You can't put one in timeout (you have to stay with them, they get up and run around the room) without another throwing a huge block in the air. You can't sit down with a few kids and work with them on using scissors without a boy jumping on a girl and another boy jumping on top of them all. Tell them to move to a different spot and they say, NO. The other teacher and I are stressed to the limits. She also has other duties at the school. I've tried to talk to parents and have seen no interest or the parents tells the kids to "be good." Then the parent leaves and the kid runs across the room and starts ripping things off the wall. So you get the idea. It's impossible to work with the kids and accomplish anything because several of them demand fulltime attention to keep them from destroying the room. All of my body is tense. The director doesn't appreciate complaints about this and no help comes.
     
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  3. k_teacher1

    k_teacher1 New Member

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    Mar 3, 2007

    Oh man... I have had kids like that in my class, but not a whole room full of them. I feel your pain. I wish I had a solution for you. We go on a LOT of field trips during the year, and what has helped my class the most is just not taking the ones that won't listen. My aide stays with them and the rest of us go to the fair, the park, the fire station, or where ever. We take a lot of pictures and the kids that didn't get to go see what they missed out on. I talk to them as gently as I can and tell them I would LOVE for the whole class to go, we have more fun when everyone is there, but it is dangerous for me to take them if they won't listen. That I love them and don't want them to get hurt, and when I see that they are going to listen and follow the rules, they will go too.

    I had a mom at the beginning of this year that threw a stinking FIT that her child didn't get to go to the fair, and my director backed me up saying it was a safety issue, that she had seen how this child would not listen to the teacher. The mom has been a little more attentive to his behavior since then.

    Good luck and hang in there!!
     
  4. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Mar 3, 2007

    3 year olds can be the most difficult class to teach. We have had these problems where I work. No one wanted to teach the 3 year olds. They are in between being babies and Preschool age. Their attention span is so short that they don't play with anything for very long. They run from place to place and throw things around. However! It is your job to teach them NOT to do this. If they won't behave and play nicely in your classroom, then you have to teach them. YOu have to be firm and consistent in discipline. The second they do something wrong, they need to sit down on a time out and do nothing. GEtting up and running off time outs? Then put them right back on it. If you have to do this a hundred times, then do it. YOur aide should be doing the same thing. It won't be fun, but it isn't fun now anyway and the naughty ones are spoiling it for the rest. Get wild and get crazy, but do something and put an end to this madness. In short, you really do have to be somewhat mean. I don't mean physically, but you have to put the fear into them and start showing them that You are the teacher.
     
  5. Tigers

    Tigers Habitué

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    Mar 3, 2007

    I have dealt with classes who come from very unfortunate backgrounds, not a couple kids, whole classes.

    There are so many different aspects which need to be dicussed when talking about classroom management. I don't think anyone can write and give you the experiences need to completely manage the situation.

    But, I believe there are important concepts for you to remember. If the environment is not suited to the children, change it. If the children are throwing tantrums, it is because they have lost control of themselves. If they are not listening to you it is not necessarily because they don't respect you. These children are from a very inconsistant homelife; the three most influential factors in resiliant children (factors which tump their at-risk lives, and allow them to become successful, contributing members of society are Acknowledgement, Intimacy and Live-Language. Your best bet is to give the children these which are often lacking in home environments that are inconsistant.
     
  6. Mrs. B.

    Mrs. B. Rookie

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    Mar 4, 2007

    I know as a teacher that it is hard to manage some of the behavior issues. Those kids do sound totally out of control, but it's not uncharacteristic for that age group. (I've been there, I feel for you.) They can make your day seem exhausting and overwhelming. Try integrating in some new themes like friendship, respect, etc. (if you're allowed). Just simple things like the book "Hands are Not for Hitting" and things like that. Try a group activity in the library where they have to look each other in the eye and shake hands. It's hard to teach friendship and respect, but it is good for them to start learning about how others feel. Not only as individuals, but for your class as a whole.
    I know for me, I want to teach the ABC's, counting, shapes, etc. But don't get swept away with the curriculum, their behavior if a far more important skill to work on-especially with this age group. They have years before they go to school to learn what they need to know academically. Sadly, most kids going to Kinder-in my opinion-do not have enough social skills and tolerance of others.
    As for your director, my old director would not work with me either. I could not put kids in a time out-they had to be put at a table with something to do. She didn't support me in talking to the parents, I had children with developmental difficulties that were not being addressed *sigh*. I was alone with 10 kids, age 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 all day. So, for me, the only option was to leave. I tried for 6 months and I feel I helped those kids in my care as best I could, but I couldn't fix it alone without at least my director's support. I went on to start my own daycare and do things the way I feel is right for the kids-and a "kindness curriculum" is a good way to start. Good luck to you!
    Hope that I helped.
    (sorry it got so long!)

    Ellie
     
  7. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Mar 4, 2007

    I agree with Mrs. B. Don't worry about academics. Social skills is what these children need. I, too, have had a class full of "these" kids. I concentrated on directed free play. The activities I put out were chosen by me, but the children could float from table academics (puzzles, writing projects), large motor (where a teacher was usually leading an obsticle course or movement activity), to housekeeping. I floated and kept the peace.

    You just need to find your comfort level, and hang in there.
     
  8. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Mar 4, 2007

    Blue & Mrs. B are giving great advice, I just wanted to add a bit. Your instinct from older kids may be to try to reason - don't. You have to be extra firm and short.
    Ex: Instead of we don't hit our friends because etc...
    Say in a firm voice - "soft touches only" demonstrate by rubbing the child's hand gently on your own arm as you say it
    I would also go back to teaching rules. They should be able to handle rules in very short sentences. I would maybe have 3-5 basic that cover everything. Maybe for a week talk about rules, why we have them etc... Then introduce rules one a week and talk about it everyday - let the kids participate - why do we have the rule, what happens when we don't follow this rule.

    Point out natural consequences as th opportunity arises. If a student is running and falls comfort first but point out to the whole class that the student was hurt because he was running. If a student doesn't follow directions and doesn't finish an art activity hand them up and point out that one student doesn't have on up because she didn't follow the rules.
     
  9. MsTeckel

    MsTeckel Comrade

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    Mar 4, 2007

    OMG Im sooooooo glad I found this post. I recently just quit my day care job after 1 month. It was a class full of 16 2 year olds that absoultly did not listen to me. I had to raise my voice constantly and that didnt help. The director didnt help. it was HER son that was the most trouble. He was pretty much the ring leader of the class. The other kids would follow him. All I was told was I was a qualified teacher and I should know what to do.
    I went to that job for experience with teaching before I moved on to special education. I couldnt do it at all. I put in my two weeks, but left after 3 days of my two weeks. But I figured out for myself that I cant do kids that young. I taught them things like counting and shapes and we did things. But when one child ruins it all, it doesnt help. It is stressful, I feel ya. I chose unemployment over staying in that enviornment. If I had about 5 specific kids out of that room, I could handle it much better. I found out for myself that I do better in smaller groups with slighly older children. I know day care isnt for me, but I needed and wanted teaching experience. I didnt wanna ruin my passion for children tho. My passion is with special needs children.

    Good luck with everything. I offer no advice, but I hear ya.

    Amy

     
  10. mic208

    mic208 New Member

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    Mar 10, 2007

    Sigh...My situation is similar to ame8199 as well. I'm in this daycare for 4 months. In the preschool room, I've 24 2 to 3 year old with 3 staff (including myself).

    One of the child (who can't speak English) has aggressive behaviors (bitting, hitting, spitting, kicking, throwing objects, pulling hairs) and the center supervisor has already talked to the parents and asked them to seek for professional help (early intervention). In addition, in the past few weeks, I've noticed that many of the children do not behave properly too. Even with the boy (who's turning 3 in April) who used to be the most gentle one in the class, he's hitting and throwing toys as well.

    Last week, one boy started this up, and half of the boys followed him. They made "guns" with Lego, and they were running around the room, hiding behind the sofa and saying "pan pan pan!"

    Also, it's very hard for us to do the circle (large group time) with 24 children. Even most of them were sitting nicely and paying attention to the story, for sure there would be 4 or 5 children moving around/playing/talking/sitting on someone else's feet...etc. So for a 10-15mins circle, 3 to 4 children may have to sit out on the time-out chairs.

    This is my first preschool teaching job after I graduated from collage last year. I understand that those behaviors are typical for 2-3s, and I'm trying my best to take care of these children too. However, I'm very stressful. I just want to get more teaching experience before I study sp. ed. My passion is working with children with special needs in a small group.

    Good luck to everyone.
     
  11. Mrs. B.

    Mrs. B. Rookie

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    Mar 10, 2007

    Try giving each of the kids their own spot for circle time. At my old center (when I had 2 year olds) we put down pictures of farm animals with contact paper and clear packing tape. Each kid had their own animal-we put one on the front of their cubby, too, for reinforcement. They did really well with it. The first time someone got up to run around and another child took their spot....! Oh, they weren't letting THAT happen again! lol

    You could also try splitting the group in half. One teacher lead the circle time with 12, the other could do art or another activity with the other 12, and the third teacher (aide or whatever) could float between the two groups to help out.

    Good luck!
    Mrs. B. :)
     
  12. mic208

    mic208 New Member

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    Mar 11, 2007


    Thanks for your advice.

    As for circle time, usually 1 teacher leads the circle, another teacher sits with the child who acts aggressively (sitting on the lap or sitting beside the teacher). The 3rd teacher has to prepare the programs/food/etc.

    In the past, I tried to give each child a colorful foam paper to sit on it. I also used masking tape, made a circle on the carpet and asked children to sit on the edge of the circle. These methods seem okay with the older ones, but my younger ones and "active ones" still moving around because they just watche and imitate behaviors of others. Also, my center requires ALL the children to sit down on the carpet and participate in the circle, and the supervisor said I can't put any tape on the carpet because it will ruin the carpet...

    Now, a staff is trying another method by giving out stickers to those who are sitting nicely at the end of the circle. The children behavior the same, but once the teacher mentions "stickers", they will sit up for a few mins. Anyhow, I feel like the children are sitting nicely for the stickers and rewards, rather than for the songs and stories.

    I'll try to use the animal pictures for the circle and cubbies as I need to make new tags for them soon.:)
     
  13. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Mar 11, 2007

    Don't always do the stickers., but it's a good way to start out and they will eventually learn to do without the rewards.
     

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