Do you have an assistant?
Nope it's just me! I taught 24-28 second graders for 10 years in a public elementary school. Having 8 kids in a class is wonderful for me! I am so used to doing it all myself, I don't know what I'd do if I did have an assistant!
Are parents welcome in the classroom?
Absolutely! Give us a few weeks to get acquainted in the fall and then you are more than welcome to drop in or volunteer as little or as often as you'd like.
How do you handle discipline?
I work really hard during the first month to teach the kids the routines and to help them learn many new self-help skills. I do this through lots of consistency and patience. I also work with the kids to teach them the words to use when they need help, want a turn with something or are not ready to give someone else a turn. We practice using these words every time an issue arises. I try not to simply step in and solve problems for them, but rather teach them the words to use so they can solve the problem themselves. If a child is having trouble remembering the rules at a certain area I will redirect that child to a new area. If a child hits or pushes I will have that child "take a break." Then I attend to the other child. After a few minutes I bring the two children together to talk about what happened. After a few months the kids are usually getting very good at negotiating conflicts and following our rules.
How do you communicate with parents?
I have many ways in which I communicate with parents on a regular basis. Each day you will receive a short note from me specifically about your child. In these notes, you'll find out the activities your child participated in, who your child played with and any ups or downs your child had that day. I am also available every day after school to talk with you about any questions or concerns you may have at any time during the school year. In addition to these daily communications, you will also receive weekly newsletters from me and monthly Mother Goose Time newsletters. I also conduct regular formal and informal assessments in order to help me learn more about your child. I will communicate to you about your child's progress through progress reports which are sent home three times per year. We also have a chance to meet in person each year during our conference week. These conferences are held Monday-Wednesday of Thanksgiving week.
Do children need to be potty-trained?
I do not require children to be potty trained. I feel this puts too much pressure on both the parent and the child. Usually at the beginning of the year there are a couple of kids who are not potty trained. That is fine and I'm happy to help in any way I can. We have regular potty breaks at snack, before outside time and lunch time. Some kids need to be on a strict schedule, others can regulate themselves. Everyone at least tries the potty before we go outside. I do expect all pre-k kids to be potty trained before the start of the school year.
What about meals?
You provide a lunch and water bottle for your child each day. I provide a snack. Each day for snack I serve an organic fruit and one other item such as; cheese, yogurt, popcorn, crackers or pretzels.
What if you or one of your own children are sick?
Luckily I have an immune system of steal! I have only been sick once in the 8 years I've had this business (and that was in my very first year!) My kids also are very healthy. The most they ever get are colds. They also are at the age that if they do need to stay home from school they can take care of themselves. If they have to stay home they know they have to stay in bed until 1:00 PM. I think this deters them from wanting to stay home as it's never very exciting for them! I do build in 2 sick days per year, however just in case. If I ever did need to cancel school I would call you as soon as I knew so you could make other arrangements. But like I said earlier, this is extremely rare.
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