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“If you are a dreamer,come in. If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, a hoper, a prayer, a magic-bean-buyer. If you're a pretender, come sit by my fire, for we have some flax-golden tales to spin. Come in! Come in!” Shel Silverstein
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Let's face it, if you work in child care and do not have a child of your own it's hard to understand the intricate emotions of parents. Having children is amazing, I would not trade my kids in for anything. However, parenting is a world of pain, shame, and lots of tears. There is a lot bearing on your soul as a parent, doing right by your kids, giving them your all and praying you don't make the same mistakes your parents made (that's my case anyway.) If you don't have kids it's an abstract world you could not come even close to comprehending. Now don't get me wrong, there are tons of excellent teachers that do not have children and I know a few who have inspired me and loved my children as their own and I could not have asked for bigger blessings.
All I'm saying is, go easy on those parents. They're doing the best they can and when the day is over and that cute face gives a quick "I wuv you," the parent is instantaneously recharged. And then he crawls in your bed at 2am....
Check out this AMAZING NPR article from Alan Greenblatt posted today for more.
"Parenting Got You Down? You're Not Alone."
Monday, August 29, 2011
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Monday, August 22, 2011
"I am so impressed with you and
every little thing you do is incredible,
but you must get awful lonely.
Fighting crime is too much for just one-
Seem the work is never done and every hero
Needs a Sidekick, I could be it......"
Friday, August 19, 2011
I often find discipline and handling it in just the right way to be a bit of a puzzle sometimes. What works for one child won't necessarily work for another. No matter how many kids you have worked with you can always use a few more tools for your tool box, or a good reminder. Thanks Teacher Tom for this fantastic find!
What about those days when he's hell-bent on misbehaving?
The Top Ten 101’s
- Demonstrate Respect Principle – Treat the child the same way you do other important people in your life - the way you want him to treat you - and others. "How would I want her to say that to me?"
- Modeling - Model the behavior you want. Show the child, by example, how to behave. A child is always watching and will grow up to be like you - whether you want him to or not.
- Make a Big Deal principle – Make a big deal over responsible, considerate, appropriate behavior - with attention (your eyeballs), thanks, praise, thumbs-up, recognition, hugs, special privileges, incentives (NOT food).
- Incompatible Alternative Principle – Give the child something to do that is incompatible with the inappropriate behavior. "Help me pick out 6 oranges" (instead of running around the grocery store).
- Choice Principle – Give the child two choices, both of which are positive and acceptable to you. "Would you rather tiptoe or hop upstairs to bed? You choose or I'll choose.” "We need to clear off our desks. Do you need one minute or two?" - Then set the timer. This can also be used with spouses. " The garage needs to be cleaned out. Would you rather do it tonight or Saturday?”
- When/Then Abuse it/Lose it Principle – Positive discipline involves team work and cooperation. When the child chooses to behave in the way you have requested, then he will be given the privilege he wants. However, if he chooses not to comply, the privilege is lost. For example, "When you have finished your homework, then you may watch TV. No homework, no TV."
- Connect Before You Correct Principle – Be sure to "connect" with a child - get to know him and show him that you care about him - before you begin to try to correct his behavior. This works well with parents too. Share positive thoughts with them about their child before you attack the problems!
- Validation Principle – Validate his wants and feelings by acknowledging them. "I know you feel angry with your teacher and want to stay home from school. I don't blame you. The bus will be here in 45 minutes."
- Good Head on Your Shoulders Principle – Tell your child, especially as he reaches the teen years, "You have a good head on your shoulders. You decide. I trust your judgment." This brings out the best in the child and shows him that eventually he will be in charge of his own life and responsible for his own decisions.
- Belonging and Significance Principle – Remember that everyone needs to feel that he belongs and is significant. Help your child to feel important by giving him important jobs to do and reminding him that if he doesn't do them, they don't get done! Help him feel important by being responsible.
My personal favorite? #6- The When/Then/Lose It Principle. Using when you/then you is part of my vocabulary and is extremely effective! I like it because it is respectful and clear cut. Every action will result in a consequence, good or bad. When you/then you gives the kids a chance to see the bigger picture and make the appropriate choice.
The 101's are magical! Make your own "101 du jour" and watch your classroom transform from crazy to cool.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Teacher Tom: Rules 2010-11
The first thing we do is set up a Buddy System. We pair our Greenie Ambassadors with a new friend. This gives our older students a sense of responsibility to the new friends; you should see them beam with pride as they show their younger Buddy around the room, take their little hands and show them the ins and outs of being a Greenie.
During our circle time we talk about our classroom rules. The classroom rules are kept simple in our room.
1) We will take care of ourselves.
2) We will take care of each other.
3) We will take care of our classroom.
This pretty much covers all bases as we talk about the nuances of each rule. It would be easy to make a lists of 'no's' and 'don'ts' but I have come to find that for the most part kids are good at knowing what they can't do, rarely do we get a chance to celebrate what they can do and how their choices positively affect themselves, each other, and their environment.
We are looking forward to also having home visits and a class social in the coming month, which are great at building our family community.
Here's to a great new year! Cheers!
Monday, August 15, 2011
let the children play: portfolios - making children's learning visible in...: "Many moons ago when I first started teaching. records of children's learning were kept in the office for teacher's eyes only. Today our chi..."
Sunday, August 14, 2011
Friday, August 12, 2011
As our spring program comes to an end we prepare for our Family and Graduation Night by designing class shirts. Usually the shirt matches our song and this year we had chosen to do "Workin' In The Garden" by Gary Lapow, a WolfTrap musician. The front of the shirt was composed of many flower pots with plants the children drew growing out of them. On the back of the shirt my co-teacher and I came up with a list, a set of instructions if you will, of "How To Grow A Greenie." It goes like this:
It's of course a very incomplete list but I am pretty sure it holds all the essential ingredients to a happy preschool-hood. Rereading this list I can envision pictures of the children on the front of seed packets, the list on the back. This coming week I will be welcoming a new batch of seeds while a handful of ripe Greenies go off to Kindergarten. Even though fall is creeping upon us, I cannot wait to get this last planting of the year in and watch them grow...