I'm here to ask for advice. I'm getting a job as a preschool assistant soon and I'd love advice on what makes a good classroom teacher?
Basically I would love any advice/pointers offered...what have you seen as parents, makes a good caretaker/teacher, especially in class settings?
Coming from a large family gives you a clue as to what you need to be a good pre-school assistant. Having spent about 7 years as a pre-school teacher myself, some specifics I can think of:
Be patient - self explanatory ;)
Don't take things personally - not the kids undesired behavior, not the parents cranky remarks, not your co-workers cranky remarks...and you will experience all of these at one point or another, getting wrapped up in things that will irritate you on a low level makes you crazy.
Wash your hands (lots!) and expect pestilence - LOL if this is your first experience dealing with being around pre-schoolers in a group, expect that your immune system may need time to adjust Sooo...
Take care of yourself - Drink lots of water during the day, and be sure to take full advantage of any break periods you have.
Be Free! - Sing,dance, laugh, imagine admire the wonder that spending each day with amazing little people brings, it can be the best job ever!
As a parent, great communication with the parents is pretty important to me - notes in agendas/note totes etc. make a huge difference. The class room things that stand out to me of the teachers that I have considered awesome are:
1- they managed transitions well - getting little people on to something else is tricky! having a system is great, and necessary
2 - they were proactive with the behaviour management, usually getting on top of it long before it got close to out of hand
3 - They were flexible. if the class was too antsy to sit, then maybe circle time would change to outside time; if everyone was feeling quiet then maybe they'd read a book for a bit. Stuff would get done, but judging and sometimes readjusting the mood of the class was an essential part of the lesson.
4 - they kept the kids in the loop. The kids knew what was expected of them, what was going on today, where and when and how to do stuff for themselves.
I also agree with a pp, flexibility is great, too. If the students are too worked up for a story time, switch to a physical activity rather than force the original plan.
Good luck with your new career! Good prek teachers are a wonderful gift.
One thing I have noticed that stands out is the difference between the people who get down to the child's level to say hello and the ones who don't. The kids take quickly to grown-ups who squat down to talk to them. Also, all those squats really get your glutes in nice shape!
Edited to say: This mostly applies when you are first introduced and when you are welcoming the child to a new environment- squatting ALL DAY might mean you never get up again...
Thanks for all the advice! I am mulling over and keeping all of this in mind. @eeem you're so right if you're down on kids' level ....they will practically never stop talking to you! :) Haha. :) That's always been my instinct. They see you are relating to them as individuals not just "kids 1-20."
@Elle2 Being older now, the whole "don't take things personally" thing" is so much easier for me than it used to be,and I think you're so right. I worked at a daycare when I was around 20 and every neagative comment or interaction could really get to me..... I love teh reminder because it's so essential.
My biggest issue seems to be authority and dealing with strong personalities of all types! - I want to meet needs, too much.
even though people often take me for a strong personality myself. I am observant to an almost , -- too much degree?--
I stress about not wanting to hurt chatty kids' feelings by managing instead of always "relating/learning/communicating" ....or picking up on a child's hurt or anxious or acting out mood in a sympathetic way -- basically too emotionally attuned instead of take charge. I'll get distracted by moods/needs/issues I'll pick up on but i know as a preschool worker are not necessarily my place to concern myself witha nd "the show must go on" for the whole class, etc.
TRANSITIONS!!!-gotta learn to do those well!
But the head teacher/owner I will work for is wonderful, calm, and the kids all seem GREAT. (I start in a limited capacity today just to be ether when the lead goes on school runs, and then possibly full time ina month or two.) Again, thanks to all advisors ! I appreciate!