10 things I Learned about Education/Myself this week
1. I should be the Queen of Preschools.
I did my student teaching at a private preschool where the median income is $177k per household. I would assume $250k but I looked it up and its 177k. I taught for 2 years at a private preschool where the median income is $83,000 per household. I am now teaching at a tuition based public school program where the median income is $43,000 per household.
I have seen preschool taught at the wealthy, upper middle class and lower class levels. I also taught 3 years in South Korea that have rigorous education standards.
2. There is a difference between countries.
I taught 4 year olds in South Korea to write sentences.
My assistant was an assistant in London and she said 4 year olds know their abc's, can write their names and do not nap.
In the USA at the wealthiest school, the kids can write letters and know their abcs but still nap and can kind of write their names.
3. 4 year olds can do a lot if they have the parents attention.
If a 4 year old is in a small classroom setting with attention from an adult they can accomplish A LOT! My classrooms in South Korea were 10 children. Those children had my attention. I knew at every moment what each child was doing. Student teaching it was 1 teacher and 1 assistant to 16. Typically the teacher will teach and then the assistant will watch for misbehaving students. I couldn't tell what every student was thinking with 16 children in front of me. During Covid, it was 2 teachers for 10 kids. We were more focused on making sure everything was clean than education. They know their abc's, can walk in a line, count past 20, write their name, sit criss cross, and adapt to the world. I am now in classroom where if everyone shows up it will be 1 teacher and 1 assistant to 19 children. NINETEEN! My goal is if they can walk in a line and sit criss cross.. all is well. Like if that is all I teach them this year.. SUCCESS
4. Phones and TV are not parents.
I mean we all kind of know this but if you had to fill out a questionnaire asking how many hours your child spends in front of a screen.. what is your answer? Heads up.. probably 4+ hours. It's a question on a student information sheet. It makes me sad and makes me want to interact more myself. It also makes me really happy that I fought for no ipads in my last preschool classroom. I lost but they lost because I don't work there anymore.
5. High Scope. What are you're thoughts?
High Scope is a rigid type of curriculum. You can not tell a child "good job". You can not reward them for good behavior. If a child asks " Do you like my shoes?" you can point out the obvious.. "They are pink and sparkly!". They will ask "But do you like them?". You say "they look like they go really fast." " I know but do you like them?" You say, " Do you like them?" they say "yes" and you follow up with "well that's all that matters". Now I think that's nice. I also think if anyone talked to me like that I would think they were ignoring me. I don't have to teach it but I almost had to and I don't think I could do that. I like giving kids positive reinforcement.
6. Speech Issues
I can understand maybe 3 children in my classroom right now. The rest they need to repeat themselves. Do people with more money talk to their children more? I am really curious about this.
7. Are Public Schools always putting out fires?
I worked for 3 different private schools and 1 public school. The private schools I worked for really seemed to have an idea of what was going on with each person that worked for them. I had my insurance card days before the effective date. I had paperwork for each child at least a week before I needed it. This is not true at a public school. I don't have my insurance card and my effective date was 2 days ago. The insurance company doesn't even have my paperwork. ugh. They seem to always be dealing with the most urgent issue in front of them at any given time.
8. Is it worth it to make less money but not take work home?
I got a 30% pay increase moving to this new job. I have no prep time. I can't lesson plan at school. I have to do it at home. Is that extra time at home worth the 30% pay increase? Not sure. If that was the only reason I was leaving my last job it would be something to think about.
9. What is the best ratio of teacher to child?
I don't think it's 1 on 1. The kids that would come out of that would be very needy in professional life. I don't think it is 1 on 2 or 3. I think 1 adult to 4 children would be excellent. That was my small group number last year. We would do the hardest part of our day 1 teacher to 4 students. 1-9 is ridiculous. If I was a praying girl.. which I might be I just don't know who I pray to.. I will pray for those kids.
10. School Lunches aren't bad.
They aren't really that nutritious. Fried Chicken, Apple Sauce and Cow's Milk. Maybe I am to Bougie for school lunches but if it's free. I am all about it. I had a piece of friend chicken and apple sauce for lunch today. It wasn't terrible but once I have my energy back.. I am packing lunch.