Being Taught to Teach


The Preschool Adventure Begins
August 31, 2012, 6:06 am
Filed under: Preschool, Reflecting, Student Teaching

I am very excited to be working in the older age group of the preschool.  I want to be a classroom teacher, but I believe it is important to take into account young children’s development prior to school to have a full understanding of the elementary school experience.  Although we were exposed to Piaget and others in regard to early childhood development last year, I want to delve deeper into understanding how and what this development looks like on the ground.

I really want to teach second or third grade, but through some of my student teaching posts last year (especially my first grade) I became very aware of various stages that children seemed to be in.  I know that there are no strict age boundaries to Piaget’s stages or Erickson’s stages of psychological development and because of that I want to have a deeper understanding of the early side of these stages.

As a student teacher in my preschool I must set a goal for myself each semester.  From my student teaching experiences last year, I have seen the importance of tone and way of phrasing questions and comments with children.  I believe that it is important to give children a lot of autonomy and allow them to make choices for themselves, however there are times when as a teacher I need to recognize that it is better to make statements rather than phrasing things in a question form.  These are typically times when I am not really giving the child a choice in the matter, it is a necessity thing that they must do.  I want to work on being more conscious of how my phrasing gives children options, limited options or more of a direct command.  As an elementary school teacher coming into preschool it will be important for me to hold myself back and observe rather than jump into every situation.  Through practicing that restraint I hope be better filter my words and tone.

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Setting the Tone Poem
August 3, 2012, 5:12 am
Filed under: Reflecting, Student Teaching

This is a poem that came out of one of the dilemmas I faced with my 4th and 5th grade class.  We had been reflecting on how to set the tone for our classrooms.  One of the strategies that emerged was creating written agreements between students who were at conflict with one another.

She is my Enemy

She is my enemy and always will be

She was exactly like this last year you see

She is bossy, mean and selfish too,

I could yell at her til I turn blue.

I’m not selfish, bossy or mean

He lies so much it makes me green

When I talk he laughs or walks away

It makes me do the same when he wants a say

Now kids, I understand you’re mad

Let’s talk about three things the other does that make you feel bad

When I speak she rolls her eyes,

He does too, don’t trust his lies

Well that sounds like a good one to add to the compromise

Anything else to add before we sign?

Sometimes he walks away as I’m in mid speaking line

Oh, yeah but if you do it to me that’s fine?

These are written down as things to work on

I do not need a friendship to spawn,

A promise of tolerance to one another

So our classroom can move into recover

No more rolling eyes or walking away,

Thank you for talking this out today,

Now go out and play

Is this how we should deal with children who will not get along in our class?  Is there a better way to set the tone of friendship and community in the class?