5 Eventualities Every Preschool Teacher Must Be Prepared For
When you search for information on teacher preparedness, you'll undoubtedly run across hundreds of sites offering you advice on the right checklists, the right assessments and the right classroom set-up. What you'll struggle to find is how to deal with the day-to-day issues that arise when working with preschoolers. Here's what you'll really be handling:
It's not unusual for 3 and 4-year olds to experience separation anxiety. When parents drop children off for the morning, you'll undoubtedly experience at least one child having a complete meltdown. Encourage parents to drop their kids off and leave. Allowing the parent of a screaming child to stay only prolongs the agony for everyone involved. The average child will cry and carry on for less than five minutes.
Studies have shown that children who experience parental involvement in terms of their learning succeed academically. Encourage the parents of your children to participate in the classroom and out. Plan on running into at least a handful of parents who look at you like a babysitter and not a teacher. Your goal should be to convert these parents into active participants, whether it takes you all year or not.
By the time a child is ready for preschool, bad behavior may have already set in. You will have at least one child in your classroom who bullies the other children, refuses to follow instructions or simply can't keep his hands to himself. While this child may have a true emotional disability, chances are better that he is simply allowed to partake in these behaviors at home. Instead of losing your cool, teach the children in your classroom about good and bad choices. Ignore the child's outbursts and reward positive behavior. Once the child understands that his behavior will not be tolerated nor awarded, he'll settle down.
Did you ever think that you would be dealing with stoned children? You will be. The good news is this: They aren't high on drugs; it's just sugar. In today's society, a good breakfast is comprised of Pop Tarts and fruit juice. Teach your children about proper nutrition and send home information for parents. Studies tell us that sugar doesn't make children more hyper, but it does cause them to crash. Once the sugar has leached its way out of the children's blood stream, a drop in blood glucose levels can leave the children sluggish and tired. Talk to your class about making healthy food choices.
Children and dirt are one in the same. Whether you're dealing with spilled paint or wet pants, you'll have a dirty kid in your class on a consistent basis. Stock your room with baby wipes, hand sanitizer and even dry shampoo. Ask parents to bring a complete outfit with their children on the first day of school. Keep these outfits in the class closet or in each child's cubby. You'll always have something for the child to change into, even if it’s a pair of pajamas, should they get dirty.
Make no mistake: Teaching kids is a great career choice; it's also a messy one. When you walk into your first classroom prepared, you'll have a better start to your year and your career. With kids, it's better to assume things will go wrong and to be pleasantly surprised when they don't.
Writer Brett Harris is a professional blogger. If you're interested in early education, look into online early childhood education programs