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<p>Okay, so I recently started work as an assistant teacher in a pre-k classroom for refugee children. I have always loved kids, though I do not have any of my own. I have worked as a nanny, babysitter, doula etc. I am a big believer in treating children as *gasp* <em>real</em> people, with real emotions and important input. I have watched GD, listening and talking be very helpful with dealing with kids.</p>
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<p>The problem? The lead teacher in the classroom DOES NOT.</p>
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<p>Now, I can't really blame her. She is obviously a product of the main stream and was taught that children should be seen and not heard, that children should never "act out", be loud, make a fuss etc. I watch her use traditional techniques such as shaming, yelling, unviolent (non-violent doesn't seem like an appropriate term) threatening etc. as ways of controlling the classroom. I even heard her tell the class that "little people do not have any authority and are therefore NEVER allowed to tell an adult no".</p>
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<p>Because the lead teacher is older and more experienced, she considers herself to be the authority on classroom discipline/environment. She does not see that I have techniques with working with children. She does not see me screaming at the kids or doing the things she does, so she assumes I'm not doing anything and considers it her duty to take over. When I try to explain that I have the situation under control, she just usurps all authority from me and either demands that I walk away or will give the child an order. I won't argue with her in front of the children because that will OBVIOUSLY not create a safe environment for the children. Likewise, I will not tell a child that s/he does not have to listen to one of the adults in the room. It's just not helpful.</p>
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<p>So... what CAN I do????? It is making work unbearable for me, but I love these kids and I want to keep my job.</p>
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<p>Oh. And talking to the director won't work because he has no clue what goes on in the classroom and does not have the respect of any of the teachers in the school. Even if I could get him on my "side" and get him to speak with the lead teacher, she would not respect him enough to actually implement anything he asked her to.</p>
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<p>HELP!!!!!</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>firstacoustic</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1282569/any-pre-k-teachers-out-there-i-need-gd-help#post_16082240"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p> </p>
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<p>Now, I can't really blame her. She is obviously a product of the main stream and was taught that children should be seen and not heard, that children should never "act out", be loud, make a fuss etc. I watch her use traditional techniques such as shaming, yelling, unviolent (non-violent doesn't seem like an appropriate term) threatening etc. as ways of controlling the classroom. I even heard her tell the class that "little people do not have any authority and are therefore NEVER allowed to tell an adult no".</p>
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<p>I'm sorry... I'm not actually going to help you.  But, I just want to say that I find this very offensive. (and I am almost NEVER offended) "Mainstream" doesn't mean we all think kids should be seen and not heard.    This has nothing to do with mainstream.  So, feel free to blame her.  If she's actually ever had early childhood education, (even mainstream early childhood education) she would know how to treat children and speak to them.  <br>
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<p> </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">
<div>I watch her use traditional techniques such as shaming, yelling, unviolent (non-violent doesn't seem like an appropriate term) threatening etc. as ways of controlling the classroom. I even heard her tell the class that "little people do not have any authority and are therefore NEVER allowed to tell an adult no".</div>
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<p><span style="color:rgb(178,34,34);"> This is absolutely inappropriate for a teacher, IMO. (And yes, I realize that I am an unschooler, but I've worked in so called "mainstream" education as well.) It is just never okay for a teacher to threaten or shame a child period. I realize that you fear making your job more unpleasant, and that you feel talking to the director will not cause any change, but in my opinion this goes beyond those things; it's about the safety and well being of children. I would go to the director time and time again, and if that wasn't helping I would go to his/her superior and so on in that manner until something changed. This may or may not be a popular opinion or something you are comfortable doing, but in that situation I would be very tempted to secretly record that teacher's comments and behavior in the classroom. Can't deny audio or visual as easily. Yell it from the rooftops if ya gotta. ;)</span></p>
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<p><span style="color:rgb(178,34,34);">Hang in there, at least the kids have you there to get a little of the good stuff.</span></p>
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<p><span style="color:rgb(178,34,34);">Peace, Un</span></p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
<p>You are absolutely right. Mainstream is not an appropriate term to use, because mainstream differs so much from place to place. I was in no way trying to offend anyone and I'm sorry that I did you.</p>
<p>I don't know where you are from (and I don't know where my lead teacher is from), but where I live, these kinds of things ARE often accepted as ways to appropriately deal with children. Not by everyone, but spanking (not that the teacher ever touches the children! But i know she spanks her own children), embarrassing, children not having "the right" or "the authority" to influence situations are still pretty accepted by many people where I live. Mothers often spank their children, yell at their children and threaten their children in public places.</p>
<p>Maybe mainstream is not the correct term, but it is considered "socially acceptable" behavior by many.</p>
<p>Anyway, titles and labels aren't really the point here</p>
<p>I'm just trying to figure out how I can personally operate in the classroom to the benefit of the children. I was hoping that some parents who have experience with GD could give me some references, books, ideas etc. especially examples of how they have dealt with teachers or other adults who have influence over their children's lives.</p>
 

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<p>There's a great book by Haim Ginott called "Teacher and Child"</p>
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<p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FTeacher-Child-Book-Parents-Teachers%2Fdp%2F0380003236" rel="norewrite" target="_blank">http://www.amazon.com/Teacher-Child-Book-Parents-Teachers/dp/0380003236</a></p>
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<p>Too bad you can't leave it out where the head teacher can see it. Or at least she could catch you reading it and not accuse you of not doing anything! Maybe she'd want to borrow it and before long she'd be on the road to respectful, compassionate teaching methods!</p>
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<p>Best of luck. </p>
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<p>p.s. I recommend this book for ANY parent, not just those who are teachers. Or non-parents too, if they want to be effective in teaching (or facilitating learning of) kids.</p>
 

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<p>I think that people of any age can learn new habits.  If you are using positive words, eventually they will rub off on the lead teacher.  She'll get used to hearing them, and seeing that they work, and she'll start to use them in her own day.</p>
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<p>As far as I know, all teachers have been taught to say things like "WALK" instead of "Don't run".   I think that's common sense for anyone, but I still hear adults yelling "Don't run".  </p>
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<p>"Inside voices" instead of "quiet down".  "Soft hands" instead of "Dont' hit".  "Be careful"..... well "Be careful is just useless... nobody listens to that anyway".  So, instead I say "Look before you jump.. is there anybody there? (wait for answer)  OK, then jump!"</p>
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<p>If the group is out of control, you can flick the lights and then have them all sing the "Everybody do this" song, to get control, then after the song, you can have them clean up, or come to circle time.  But, if you have chaos before you transition, it's just going to end in chaos, and the teacher is going to be mad at the kids.  </p>
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<p>COmpliment the kids.  "Wow, that was a good way to figure it out, I never even though of that!"   "You put a lot of work into that!"  "That's heavy!"  (they say "not for me") and you say "I can tell"</p>
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<p>Of course, if the lead teacher isn't watching, she'll never learn, but let's hope she's paying attention.</p>
 
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