#Kinderblog13, Week 3
Each week, we are given a topic to write about. These one word prompts are tricky. This week, it’s change… My last couple years have been all about change.
Two years ago, I changed jobs. I was back in a school district I had previously worked in, but I was at a new site, with a new assistant, with new curriculum. I felt like a first year teacher again in some regards. Luckily, my assistant and I were able to quickly fall into a routine that felt very natural and complimentary. It took me some time to get back into the groove with assessments, district requirements, etc. I was only teaching two days per week, but they were FULL days, as I was also teaching an evening preschool class (a first for me). I had a brand-new to the program assistant in that class. She stayed half the year, then got a new position at her other job. The assistant that came in half-way through the year, worked across the hall, so at least I knew her. We had a lot of fun with that night class of 4-5 year olds. I’ll tell you, it was a dream class (but that’s not what this post is about).
Last year, we switched classrooms; we moved across the hall. I started working 4 days per week, and I was no longer teaching the evening class. The room was a bit smaller, so we had to change up how we did some things, had the room set up, etc. I think it worked well, but we’ve got new ideas for this year. I also went away from using a rug for circle time, instead, placing different colors or shapes on the floor for children to sit on. This was helpful, in that we could change them to focus on skills we were working on (early in the year, it was all colored circles. Later in the year, after assessments showed our 4-5 year olds were struggling with their shapes, we changed to shapes). I also added ALL the days to the calendar, as opposed to having it only filled in up to the date. We added in “Question of the Day” in our 4-5 year old classes, as well as some other literacy building activities.
This year, we have new carpet and new paint. Oh, and, we’re also getting new blinds which will be great, since the old ones were broken. One set wouldn’t open at all, the other set was missing a couple of slats, so in the morning all spring, the sun would shine right into my eyes while I was doing group time. There were times we hung towels over them in McGyver-like fashion to get us through the mornings. This next year, we plan on arranging the room different again, which will be a change for the kiddos who will be returning.
Probably the biggest change this coming school year, will be that on Mondays and Wednesdays (our 4-5 year old classes), we will become a Team Taught class. What this means, is that of the 19 slots in our room, 6 will be dedicated to Special Ed. I will still have Miss Kim (my trusty assistant), but we will also have a Special Ed teacher in our classroom those days. She will have up to 6 children on her caseload, with the potential of more being added in as children are “identified” through the school year. We won’t know the needs of the children in our room until just before the school year starts. As needed, we will be modifying some things in our classroom.
Another change I am planning on implementing this year, is in the area of literacy. I felt like we did a pretty good job last year of stepping things up a bit for our 4-5 year olds. Most of our children from last year are going to Kindergarten knowing most of their letters. Most of the children from last year can also write their name legibly (YAY)! This year, I hope to do a better job of teaching rhyming, and making books really come alive for our preschoolers . In the past, most of our lesson plans have been theme based. Once I chose the theme for the week, then I would choose a book that went with the theme. This year, I want to include more books (such as Caps for Sale, a personal favorite). My themes will be more based on the books we choose, than the other way around. I’m hoping to really inspire more acting out of stories, and also more attempts at writing words or “stories” of their own.
My psychology teacher in 10th grade quoted François de La Rochefoucauld when he said, “The only thing constant in life is change.” I’m not sure he actually named the author who’s credited for it, but nonetheless, it stuck with me.” When my life as a whole isn’t in a state of complete change (which seems to be the story of my life), I am trying to find ways to better myself as a teacher, as a parent, as a wife, as a volunteer, as a professional, as a dancer, as a person in whole.
Change is good… don’t be scared of it!