Thursday, April 5, 2012

A New Adventure

Once I completed my Master's degree program in Early Childhood education, I tucked my new degree into my belt, and since I needed to pay for this piece of paper, I decided to leave the magical, special preschool where I had taught for the the last 10 years, and find a teaching position that offered more money, benefits, and the opportunity for advancement.

I was fortunate to be offered a position in the local school district. Teaching two year olds. After I enthusiastically accepted the position, I hung up the phone, and repeated, "Teaching two year olds? What does one teach a two year old?"

I was at a loss. All of my expertise was working with three year olds. I was good with three year olds. How in the world was I going to create a warm and engaging classroom for two year olds? Plus, I would be changing diapers. That whole celebration I had when my youngest was FINALLY out of diapers was apparently in vain. Panic started to set in. The bit of information that caused full blown panic? "Your class has 25 students."

25 two-year-olds? In diapers? Holy cow, how on earth was I going to manage this?

I walk in on the first day to a bunch of very small children running around. A LOT of very small children running around. A lot of small children running around...wearing diapers. The changing table is in the front of the room, gleaming and mocking me.

I am trying to wrap my head around how I am going to change 25 diapers. How can I possible keep 25 bottoms fresh and clean and teach them things? Can I teach children this young things?

My first day was...let's say...not perfect. I felt like all I did was change diapers, catch toys that were being tossed around the room, and during nap time I spent 1 hour and 38 minutes trying to calm a screaming child. Who tried to bite me. Twice.

So glad I got that degree.

By the end of the first week, I had established my countdown to the end of the year, and ran myself ragged trying to just make sure I had as many kids at the end of the day that I started out with.

That first weekend I analyzed why I was running so ragged. What is the key to a calm and easy to manage classroom? The students need to be engaged. They need to know what is expected of them. They need to have structure.

And thus began my adventure in the world of the two-year-olds.


Dana Richards said...

yes please! I want to know more! i just signed on to teach 2 year olds and Im not quite sure what I got myself into haha

eyeDeaList said...

Hah, seems like a rough start for you but I have seen worst in Enrichment Centres in Singapore
. Regardless hope you'll be able to find much needed motivation and preserve your passion in the field.

Jessica Mopkins said...

Item year olds are fresh to me alot of social learning and transforming from a toddler to a preschooler. Redirection redirection redirection. We must remember that at home they are still babies but at school we know exactly what they are capable of. They do understand rules not a lot but basic rules. I encouraged potty training in my two year class because most times parents potty train at home but send pull ups to school. Even though it is important for us to give the children options it is important they learn structure that being said I would teach them he to purposefully play with everything in the room most two year olds don't know how. Bottom line they are in limbo at two there exploring they are figuring out who they are so if your being told NO don't take it personal. I loved working with two year olds I have a pre- k class now and I think I sing to many song lol.....oh yeah music they love music and discovering things.

Miss.Adventure said...

how in the world were you allowed to teach 25 2 year olds on your own? Wasnt there a teacher to child ratio? you should have had at least 4 other teachers in that room!