Tag Archives: children

queen

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I was sitting in class one day last week taking some notes when one of my little girls said, “Ms. Elliot, are you a princess?”

I smiled, “No, sweetheart, I’m not.”  I looked up at her.  She frowned and seemed a little deflated.

“Oh.”  she said.  Then added quickly, “Why aren’t you a princess?”

“Why am I not a princess?”  I repeated, trying to buy a few seconds of time to give her an answer that would make her happier then my last.  “Well, I can’t be a princess because I’m a queen!”  I smiled.

She clapped her hands together and smiled.  “Oh wow, cool!”  And then ran off to play with her friends.

Some conversations are just to precious to forget.

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i love you too

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Today was my first day back.  We’re open year round but I’ve been on vacation for the past two weeks.  It was nice to be back…but not nice getting up before the sun…and I’m exhausted now.  It’s always hard for me to come back after a vacation, I always feel like I have to reteach my kids the basics.  Because, you know, no one does thing just the way you do…and the kids always seem to “forget” the basics.

But I can pleasantly report that today went surprisingly smooth!  I mean, I had to remind them how to walk in a quiet line, use their table manners, and how to sit quietly at circle time…but other then that I can say there weren’t any issues!  I breathed a sigh of relief!

Here was my best part of the day:  We were playing on the playground this morning when out of the corner of my eye I see a little girl from my class walk into the office with her mom.  A glass door leads from the office onto the playground.  She spotted me on the playground, and I could see her start jumping up and down while screaming something at her mom and pointing to me.  She started running back and forth from the door to her mom (her mother was signing her in) and then as soon as her mom opened the door she ran, as fast as her legs could carry her, straight to me screaming, “You’re back!”  She then gave me a huge hug and said, “I missed you!”  She ran back to her mom, gave her a hug, told her bye, and then came back to me and hugged me again saying, “I love you!”

“I love you too, honey.”  I said.  And this is why my job is so great.

vibe

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A co-worker and I got into a mini-debate awhile ago.  It started when she asked if I wanted a shelf for my room.  I told her that although I appreciated the offer, it didn’t really match the colors in my room.  She then said, “Yeah, I know, but I just thought it would make your room less….I don’t know….boring.”  So then I said, “What do you mean by ‘boring’?”  So she explained that she felt my room didn’t have a vibrant, carefree vibe…it felt boring to her.  And I thought, “Huh, okay…to each his own I guess…”  I then explained to her the reason my room is the way it is and in the end we agreed to disagree.  Here’s the scoop:

I have made a conscious decision in my classroom to create a very calming, neutral color scheme.  Looking around my room you see a lot of blue and green (in various shades) with some splashes of purple and grey.  There are also tan and brown shades…mostly though natural wood or basket materials.    My main area rug has a splash of bright color as do the bulletin board boarders and my word wall alphabet.  The only other major splashes of bright color are the children’s work which is hung all over the room. I feel the color scheme is very earthy and natural and it helps me focus on the kids and what needs to get done.   

I know how much energy young children have…how they find it hard to sit still and use inside voices.  I also have read various articles about how color affects mood and behavior.  So when I got my current classroom I wanted to set up a blank canvas of sorts for a couple different reasons:  1) to subliminally encourage the children to behave a bit calmer and 2) to use the room as a backdrop to display all the children’s work.  My room isn’t quiet or still…there is always noise and activity…but it’s not chaos and wildness…they are focused on what they are doing.  And their work does tend to pop against the color scheme.

I have nothing against a room full of primary colors.  I also don’t think that teachers who have very colorful rooms have children who are wild and out of control.  I have seen many pre-k classrooms that are lovely and full of color everywhere you look with shelves, rugs, walls, toy bins, doors, and tables all various colors!  And in these rooms I’ve seen children behaving the same way they do in  mine.  And if that’s what suits you…great.  It’s just not me…too over-stimulating.

As far as neutral vs. color goes…I have seen (both online and in person) rooms that, for me, hit a good balance.  One that comes to mind that I like the best is the Teach Preschool Children’s Studio.  There is a lot of neutral in the space (walls, floors, cupboards, and most shelves) with bright pops of color all about (rugs, chairs, and some furniture).  I really like this space and I could see sending my child here or working here myself without being overwhelmed.

In the end each teacher has to do what feels right for them.  When I walk into my class each day I feel calm and relaxed…and I hope my kids do too.  It’s our home away from home…and I want us all to be comfortable and happy together.  So far, I think we are.

 

desprate times…

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I’m at my wits end!  I need to vent!  Badly.  It’s 3 weeks into the school year – 3 whole weeks – and these kids in my class still don’t get it – and I can’t figure out why!  Usually by this time we have found our rhythm and are a happy class! Usually it’s just a couple kids that need a little extra guidance – but everyone else is fine.  Not this year.

Just yesterday 3 books in our book area were destroyed – the covers ripped right off – and no one will admit to doing it! (Why did I turn my back for so long?!)  And this after we constantly go over how to treat books and how special they are!

They still can’t walk in a line – if I’m not constantly telling them wherever we go to follow the person in front of them – they simply wander off! If they don’t wander off they bump into things and I have to keep from laughing!  I know that sounds mean – but really – the stunned expression on their face is quite amusing!

And there is no use giving them simple instructions – they don’t seem to understand.  I told one child, “Please go put this book on the brown table for me.”  (We only have one brown table and we use it daily at circle time – it was about 6 feet away and I pointed to it).  The child proceeds to walk in the opposite direction in which I pointed and refused to listen to my redirection.   He walks around the classroom with a lost expression on his face for a few minutes before comming back to inform me we don’t have a brown table!  When I showed him the brown table – he gave me a stunned look as if I must have made it appear out of thin air!

Some can’t even go to the bathroom without being walked through the process (i.e. telling them to wipe, flush, wash hands with soap, dry hands, and throw the paper towel away).

I have never had a class like this!  And they have absolutely no attention span!  They also have a complete lack of respect for adults.  They talk back, tell us no, and laugh in our faces when we correct their behavior! Where did they learn this behavior?!  I certainly hope their teachers from last year didn’t let them act this way!

I need help!  I.AM.DONE.

(deep breath…or two or three)

There.  I feel better now.  I vented.  But seriously it’s not good.  I wrote about my frustrations with the class here – but I would have thought 2 weeks later we wold have had some progress!  We have our good moments – don’t get me wrong.  And it’s not every single child – but it’s about half of them!  And for me – that’s too many!

I will take suggestions!  If anyone has any games or stories to help teach listening and following direction skills – I will be more then happy to hear them!  Also, they don’t know spacial concepts such as in front, behind, over, under, next to, etc.  If anyone has any good ideas for teaching this, it would help as well.  I need to find away to get this class together!  I can’t go through the year like this – and talking to parents or writing notes will only get me so far – any suggestions are welcome!  🙂

herding cats

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I felt that today was very chaotic!  We only had 13 – and we went through the same routines and over the same rules we did yesterday – and yesterday went very well – but today was another story!  We both felt like the children were doing the exact opposite of everything we said!  It was just so tiring and we felt like we were fighting a loosing battle!  I don’t like feeling as if I’m fighting with the children all day!

And I have one little boy, who I swear, doesn’t know his name!  We sometimes have to call his name 8 – 10 times before we get a response!  And I know it’s not his hearing.  When we talked to mom and dad they said that they don’t call him by his name at home but that he “should know what his name is” – really?  Am I in some sort of joke here?

I’m frustrated because I feel like we took many steps back today – and I thought that we could be moving forward.  I know they’re just testing – seeing what we’ll allow them to get away with – it happens every year – and I hate it!  If it lasts longer than a few days, I’m talking to parents – because I’m done.  So, I’m praying that it will go better tomorrow – after all, it can’t get much worse!  🙂

going, going….gone

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Well, the end of the year came and went.  Monday marks the beginning of the new school year – and my new class.  A very bittersweet moment.  I already miss my old class – but I am excited to see what the new school year holds.  I have to admit that I don’t feel at all ready or prepared for what lies ahead.  I’m not sure why – I just have this nagging feeling that I forgot to do something important.  It’s probably just paranoia.  I just need to believe that everything will go smoothly and keep on top of things.  I sometimes have the tendency to to slack on organization during the school year and then have to clean my mess up during the summer.  I’m going to try to make sure that doesn’t happen this year.

Ms. Bennet and I have decided to do a monthly newsletter for our parents as well as write on our white board what we learned and did each day.  Hopefully the parents learn to appreciate this.  Also, since we have to do “paperwork” we decided upon practicing our name writing, doing some sort of math or science activity that will have a recording sheet to go along with it, and a letter of the week page.  No tracing or redundant line drawing for my class!  We’re hoping 3 papers a week is enough for the parents!  We want to spend the rest of our time actually being productive learners!  🙂

So, I wish my old class luck as they start their new adventures Monday.  I am confident that I let them out of the nest with the correct tools to continue on in their learning – I know they are going to soar high.  And I am looking forward to and anticipating meeting my new group of kids – and together we will all start another journey into the wonder and excitement of pre-k…

Artwork by:  Rachelle Anne Miller

getting closer

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2 more days. I didn’t accomplish as much as I hoped I would today – but I made some more progress.  Each classroom is given two storage cupboards and I managed to clean out and organize 1 of them today.  Well – almost.  I have to finish the top shelf tomorrow.  Then move onto the next one!  I have WAY to much stuff and not enough space!  So, I’m trying to get rid of things that I don’t use or things I only use sparingly.  It’s crunch time – and hard decisions must be made!

Ms. Bennet has been a big help!  She’s made multiple sets of names to be used in various ways around the room, helped organize the cubbies for our new group, helped me with some cleaning, and taken everything off the walls and prepped the bulletin boards for the first day of school.  She has also taken the children and kept them busy so I can have time to get things done.  I couldn’t do it without her!

I think it’s finally hitting home with the children that they only have 2 days left with us.  I’ve heard comments the last few days like, “I wish I could stay in your class forever!” and “I don’t want to go to a new school!”  I’ve also been getting a ton of hugs (much more than usual) and many of the children have been very clingy!  I love this class and it’s soooo hard to let them go – but I know they will do great!  I keep reassuring them and being positive…but I know they must be nervous about what lies ahead.