I read back over my blogs. I realize you know very little about my life as a teacher. Let me point out I love my job. Not for the money, but for my patience tolerance grows and my love for children grow. I teach arts and crafts to toddlers and preschool children.
I know I have told this story before on my blog, but many people especially my family and friends that don't live in Huntsville don't realize how much I love this story and it's outcome. The children can either call us Ms. (Teacher's First Name) or Ms. (Teacher's Last Name). It's the teacher's preference. I'm the exception. The children couldn't pronouce my first name nor could they grasp my last name. Every single time they would try and say one of my names to the other teachers, the teacher's response would be "Ms. Who?" It stuck. The kids love it because my room was already decorated in owls so it fit me.
Today I'm going to do a reflection on teaching and I am doing this after my classes and during my lunch break:
This day would have been better if it wasn't clearing up from raining last night. Also during the night there were thunderstorms and many of the kids were slightly cranky from lack of sleep.
I think I need to know more about how to help the children relax. That includes me being more relaxed as well so that I can help them.
One new thing I think I'll try this week is playing music while the children have free time during my class. This is where they get to draw, paint, mold, sculpted, etc whatever they want to and they need to be creative with it.
The highlight of this week was yesterday when they got to put their feet in white paint and make "ghosts" to make Halloween decoration.
The observations this week made me think more about teaching children manners while they are in my class. A craft that teachings manners is on my list to look and try so that the kids might have a reminder of manners at home.
I think my favorite creative activity this year was when I did the food craft with the children in the summer. We took Cool whip added blue and green food coloring, topped a rice cake with the colored cool whip and added Goldfish to the top. I also had Whales and Swedish fish as well. They loved it and I loved it as well.
One area where my teaching is changing is I am becoming more relaxed if things don't go according to plan. I realized some things are out of my control. For instance, I cannot help it when there are only 4 in a classroom because everyone else is on vacation or sick. I had to realize those children couldn't just receive a free day they needed structure too.
One area where my teaching needs to change is where I give in a lot. I want them to learn, but I also want them to be creative. So I give into the plea for the free play day request. I really need to toughen up about that.
I just don't understand why we cannot get more feedback from parents. One teacher said it was because we were doing everything perfect. I highly doubt we are perfect.
I loved my job this week when our visitor Mr. Chris stopped by and had all the kids attention with his art that he did really quickly. Mr. Chris is a favorite of theirs because he "soo funny."
I hated my job this week when I had a headache but it was completely my fault because I had not made coffee nor stopped for coffee that morning.
One thing I can try to make better next week is keeping the children's energy at bay during my time because it's getting so close to Halloween. Halloween means costumes, candies, and parties. And all of those things mean kids with high energy levels.
The funniest thing I heard a child say this week was when one of the children asked the little quiet girl that sits in front of me during Preschool hour what the magic word was and she goes "Leviosa." It was all I could do not to hug her!!!!
The family member I feel most comfortable with is Bridgitte.
And I think the reason for that is she hates judging people based on what they do for enjoyment. She bases judgement on how they treat people and her.
The family member I feel least comfortable with is Bridgitte's brother, Josh.
And I think the reason for that is he works for the FBI. I feel like I'm completely exposed to him.
The biggest gains in learning have been made by realizing that a lot of things aren't how I expected them to be.
And I think that this is because it's how God intended it to be.
I'm working on a bad habit of forgetting that the children don't know what I know. The first week of teaching I was amazed that mixing colors was so incredible to them.
Has my attitude about teaching changed this year? Why? Yes it has. Because I love it. I was ok with it to begin with but I love the rewarding smiles and sparkles not to mention the hugs and cards that I receive.
What have I done lately to spark the children's imagination and creativity? Let them be themselves and show them my actual advance art from today's work all the way back to my high school year and some of my preschool work.
One quote that I like to keep in mind is Keep calm and pretend this is on the lesson plan. Not really. A teacher takes a hand, opens a mind, and touches a heart.
Dealing with parents that don't care is the most difficult thing I had to face recently because I couldn't grasp the concept that a parent just signs a form and doesn't even read it.
My teaching style has been most influenced by Montessori.
In thinking more about health, safety, and nutrition, I believe I would like to put more nutrition and health into the curriculum because I do a lot of safety things.
If I were going to advise a new teacher, the most helpful piece of advice would be don't get hung up on state boards and things like that. Teach!
I've been trying to facilitate friendships among the children by changing up where they sit. Sometimes I have them sit by color of shirt, name, height, favorite color, etc. Once they are seated they are not allowed to change.
I really need to start incorporating other subjects like math, science, and history in their art.
I used to rely on my lessons plans but now I let the week take me wherever because yes they need structure but they also need to let creativity take them where they need to be.
A child who has helped me learn the most is all of them. I learned I need to relax and enjoy the simple things a lot more.
The observation this week made me think more about what else I need to add to my lessons.
I think my favorite creative activity this year was when we let them go outside and draw and paint what they saw.
The best thing I learned by observing is that kids mimic adults more and more. They really pay attention to adult even when you would swear that they aren't.
I still don't understand why parents don't get more involved with their children's lives and what they have to say.
One mistake I used to make that I don't make any longer is not having extra shoes and clothing at work. You never know who will come in, when a child will throw up on you, when you will have a child cry on you and snot and tears do not look good on a blouse for your date after work.
When next year starts, one thing I will do more of is encourage parents to help out and be apart of our day.
When next year starts, on thing I won't do is forget to be strict on the first day.
One way I can help my children feel more competent is encourage, compliment and give good, thoughtful constructive criticism.
Something I really enjoy that I could share with my class is my love for vintage. History!
When children have difficulty sharing I come up with different ways of teaching how to share. I come across this problem a lot with markers, crayons, etc. There are many different ways of approaching this problem. My usual go-to is the Trader. They want the pink crayon yet they have a death grip on the purple crayon and they have to trade.
That's my reflection on teaching. I love my job. I don't want to trade it though. Once I get my teaching degree we will see where that takes me. Of course God may have a different idea for me. I just leave everything in His hands and see what is is in store for me.