There is nothing more important than making sure that you make time to greet each child. This is a brand-new adventure for them, and chances are they are very nervous. Get EVERYTHING done ahead of time. Be ready the day before, because the morning you wake up, you’ll probably remember one more thing. Do that ahead of time.
You will shoot yourself in the foot if you’re trying to do anything other than welcome each child with a smile, a hug if they like, and a relaxed, friendly attitude. (You may be sweating it on the inside, but smile!)
I love the hotel comercial that says, “You belong here.” Each child should have that feeling – “They like me here – I belong here!”
(This is another reason to not have your walls covered with every kind of poster they make and every toy, game, doll, etc. that you have. Too many choices are overwhelming. Keep it simple.)
At home visits, I have gone over the schedule with the children. After our all-day children arrive, we begin our day. I review my posted copy of our schedule with everyone, then we sing a few songs. I choose simple ones that everybody will be familiar with – ABC’s, Jesus Loves Me, Where is Thumbkin, etc. Then we find our day on the calendar, then I read either Daycare Teddy Bear by True Kelly (I change it to ‘Preschool Teddy Bear’) or Will I have a Friend? by Miriam Cohen. Then we take a little tour around the room and I tell them what each center is and any important things to know. (In blocks – nothing is for crashing, at play dough – please keep it on the table.) I try to keep the tour short, so we can get to work!
I don’t have any activity planned that requires direct teacher involvement to be successful. The art table has paper and markers – self directed. The other centers are all child-directed so my aide and I can spend our time talking with the children and getting to know them.
Do you want your children to have name tags? You may already know their names, but it’s nice if all the staff can call them by their first name. I would suggest name necklaces (a cardstock shape on a string) that they can keep at school for the first week.
Don’t worry about trying to accomplish any ‘academic’ work! This is a completely new environment for your children, so I spend the whole first week (and much of the second) just getting them used to classroom procedures. In our classroom, we have children who attend different days, so my first two or three days are almost exactly the same. (More detail on that later.)
Remember, children don’t automatically know what to do. Tell them, and know that you will have to tell them many, many times. Be positive, be patient!
Greetings! Welcome to this website, a work in progress. I have been teaching 4’s & 5’s in a Lutheran preschool for 13 years, and in that time have learned many things – mostly from my own mistakes. If I could go back in time and tell myself these things 13 years ago, things may have run smoother.
However, if you are a beginning teacher, I want to encourage you to be brave enough to make mistakes! You’ll learn SO much, and you’ll be a little more ready for the next time!
There are several categories on the side of the page. Some articles are posted in several categories, since many of these areas overlap. Hopefully there may be a few things that are helpful to you, and I hope you share your ideas here, as well. If you are looking for specific lesson plans, this is not that kind of site. Although if you look in Curriculum, I’m glad to share some thoughts on planning.
With that, here we go!