Work has been keeping me super busy these past few weeks, which is why I have not put up a post in a while. Last week I had my Pre-K class all to myself because my co-teacher was out for the week, he is also out this week too and won't return until Monday. It has been challenging. Well honestly it doesn't feel that bad, I mean it could be even more challenging but it really isn't and I suppose it's really because I have been around them since I started working at my center. Even though, a few weeks prior I was out of my class for a week, I still talked to my kids ,encouraged them to get stars and continued to tell them how proud I was of them when they got a star for good behavior. Last week the behavior problem mostly not listening, was a challenge to keep them occupied during an activity. I know that they say always have a back up for the kids, if and when they finish with an activity so they stay busy. I guess it's my fear that they still won't listen to my directions of what to do if they are done with an activity. Our room isn't very big and they all love the sand table but it can only fit four people comfortably which leaves me with six people who need my attention, and on top of that we have had kids hit or push even scratch other kids if they don't get something they want. I have been trying different things out this week, keeping only two activities out at a time and today I moved it up to three and managed to rotate the kids until we got ready to go outside. I don't stress about little things like that because I have learned how to manage them. Some how I have been doing an okay job managing them alone, it's not easy but it's worth doing.
My favorite part of my day is when I see them in the morning, enter the class and say good-bye to their parents. Mornings are usually a challenge, because it's my time to prepare for the activities ahead. This morning I amazingly managed to keep the boys from running around and play fighting (super hero is the all new rage), I had them do one of our floor puzzles and as for the girls they always like to play in the library area, so I told them in order to stay in this area they had to read and they did!
Circle time was an even bigger challenge because they can't sit still for too long, and majority of my time is spent telling them to face me and listen. Which reminds me to take note to change that, maybe I should cut circle time to 15 min tops. I like to evaluate and re-evaluate my approach to the class and how I do things with my kids. Today I had them sitting down so we were able to get through the good morning song with a talking stick (or wand), yesterday I split my circle time because they were getting restless and I should have done it this time but I didn't, oh well maybe tomorrow I will try it. For the most part listening is the biggest problem in my class, some kids feel entitled to do whatever they want and that includes not listening if they don't want to.
After lunch is nap time well lunch is served between 11:30-12:30, the kids have to be on their cots by 12:30. What I have been doing because I need them contained while I clean the spilled milk, and food off the floor. I have a rule that they must be reading some where quietly while I finish cleaning and putting out the cots for nap. We also recently had the bookmobile so we have some books they love to read, like SuperHero books and princess books so those are left for when I need them to get on their cots and stay quiet until the lights turn off, then I collect all the books. I strongly believe that they should build good reading habits especially before taking a nap or going to bed. My goal is to eventually get them all to want to pick up a book and read. Last week I had some Spider Man books, the boys were beyond excited just because it was Spider Man. They wouldn't stop asking if they could read them. The funny thing is, is that they don't know how to read just yet. But I feel like even just opening the book and looking at the pictures gets their mind going and I love it.
I typically spend most of my day lately anyways, yelling at them to not run or do something they know they shouldn't be doing. They drive me nuts sometimes but it's moments when they make me laugh that makes it all worth it. One little boy said that he thought he was falling in love with me (this was said during our morning circle time). What can I do other than laugh. There is a little girl who is obsessed with one of the boys, she likes to make it known that she likes this boy, I just laugh and wonder if true love really does exist at four years old. That's why I got in to this line of work, it's not fun if you can't laugh and really enjoy what you do, also playing with the kids is fun too. Today was so beautiful outside, I took the kids out and the three year old class joined my class eventually, as soon as they saw me playing with my kids( there were four left that hadn't been picked up yet) all the kids swarmed towards me and wanted to play. I chased them and then they chased me, but it was fun because I got my exercise and I wore them out. They even locked me up in jail, of which then I freed myself and chased them some more. I love the sight of kids laughing and running around especially if I get to play with them. I truly am blessed to have a job I absolutely love, I can't ask for anything more. My only advice to anyone who wants to go towards their dream is, be careful what you wish for, because when you get what you want, you better be prepared to handle anything that comes your way. This is what I asked for and I got it.
I hope everyone has a great weekend.