Well I just ended my 4th week of the new school year and I’ve survived 1 case of the stomach flu and 1 bad summer cold (as well as 15 children)! And I’m exhausted! I forgot how it felt to get a new class into the routine and all the frustrations that come along with that job! I’ve been very frustrated lately with how my class has been behaving and I was sure I’d never had a class like this before until I read my post from last August! I won’t write the same things now – that pretty much sums up what I’m going through!
I thought I could avoid that situation this year by being very intentional when I introduced new toys/activities – I take everything to the carpet at circle time and show/discuss how everything is to be (or not to be) used. But they still aren’t getting it and I’ve had toys/containers/baskets/books broken! Beyond modeling and discussing how to treat items respectfully, how do I get them to understand how to handle things with care?! Should I get the parents involved and write a note? Any feedback would be appreciated!
In other news, Parents Night (or Back to School Night or Open House – whatever you call it) was a great success! Aside from the fact that I did it all by myself this year (which made me extremely nervous) I had all but 2 families show up! They all seemed very pleased with what I had to say and got all their questions answered! I haven’t had one complaint yet – and I hope I won’t have any in the future! My families seem to want to be involved and know what’s going on in the classroom – and for that I’m thankful. The two families that didn’t show up are two that should have been there to hear what I had to say. Each of these families has a boy who is having behavioral issues and I’m constantly writing notes home (because I believe these parents are avoiding talking to me). But hopefully I can get them on track!
Okay, I feel like I’m rambling now…I’ll try to get online more consistently to give updates and let you know what I’m doing in class. I just feel like I’ve been really scattered and disorganized lately – even though I do plan in advance what I’m going to be doing! Just seems like I’m always running out of time! AAAHHHHH! Sometimes I feel like I’m going crazy! LOL But I think it’s just the “beginning-of-school-getting-back-into-the-routine” thing! 🙂 Hope all of you are enjoying your new class (or will be soon)!
I’m back from vacation – which explains the lack of posting – and I’m getting things ready for the first day of school – which is Monday! Way to soon for me! I’m not ready yet! Lord help me! So I’m curious, what do all of you do on the first day of school? I’m trying to come up with something fun to get my kids excited about the new school year – and I welcome any and all ideas! Thanks!
Tonight was our annual Parents Night (A.K.A: Back to School Night). A night when parents are invited to come and meet their child’s teachers and see the classroom (without the children present). 8 out of my 19 parents showed up. Better then last year when I only had 3 out of 22.
Here’s how I prep for my parents night:
First I make a handout to give all my parents which outlines our curriculum, our teaching philosophy, our discipline policy, and our daily schedule. Next, I lay out various activities on each table which demonstrate some of the items we use to teach the children. There is a literacy table, a science table, a math table, and a creative arts table. We try to fill each table with enough activities so that the parents are really able to see what their child does each day to help them learn.
The actual night is spent with us briefly going over the handout, taking questions, and letting the parents explore the room and activities while talking with us and with other parents. All the parents who showed up seemed to be excited about this school year and happy with how we run our class. Overall, a pleasant evening. It does make me sad that more parents didn’t decide to show up – but I will give them the handout tomorrow and answer any questions they might have.
I must say that Ms. Bennet really helped carry me through the night! I absolutely hate getting up and talking in front of people – something I know I need to get over – but since she loves it she did a lot of the talking! She’s just great! I couldn’t have done it without her! 🙂
Our first week together ended well. We made our jellyfish out of while construction paper and silver glitter. Monday I will attach the curling ribbon tentacles and hang them from the ceiling. It will be too cute! I’ve found that this group of children has a problem using their inside voices! Don’t get me wrong, I know pre-k children can be loud – but these children literally yell when they talk! It’s just too much for me! So I’m trying to figure out a way to work on this. Talking to them and modeling what kind of voice we should use just isn’t working! Suggestions would be appreciated!
I’m not very optimistic about all my parents either. For example, one little girls mom went up to another teacher and asked her if she was her daughters new teacher. The teacher said no, pointed us out, and we introduced ourselves. The problem you ask? The teacher she asked had been her daughters teacher all last year! Obviously, she is not a very involved mother. *Sigh* Why don’t more parents care?!
On another note, I found two big books at the local thrift store! They are not in total perfect condition (some wear to the covers) – but for $2.50 – I couldn’t pass it up! I’ve gotten my entire collection of big books at thrift stores or garage sales and have never paid more than $3.50 for a book! You can’t beat that especially since I’ve seen them sell new for upwards of $20! I just love bargains! 🙂
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! 🙂
So today was the first day with my new children – and I had a TON of kids out today! We only ended up with a total of 10! I was very surprised! But despite this fact – we made the best of it. We go over the rules and routine as we go through our day. I only get easy activities out like legos, blocks, coloring – I introduce others as we go along and the children learn how to treat items respectfully.
I felt weird all day though. I tried to stay in the moment and talk with my new kids and try to get to know them – but it was hard. My mind kept wandering off – I found myself thinking about my old kids and how their first day was going. I kept looking for the ones I knew stayed at my school but are now in different classes. I miss them.
I don’t know my new class – and they don’t know me. They can’t discuss books or play more difficult games or carry on more in depth conversations. They don’t know our routine, our rules, or our little inside jokes. But most of all – I don’t love them. Yet. It all takes time. But now, we’re all just trying to figure out how we all fit together – and it’s a bit awkward. However, I look forward to a time when this is all behind us – and I can say I love them.
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
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.