Choosing a preschool for your child is a big decision. It is a hard decision. You want to protect them and be sure that the people you are entrusting their care to are NORMAL, trustworthy; and not a lunatic, or WORSE!
It is not easy to leave your child with someone. It is the first REALLY hard thing we have to do as a parent. Honestly, the only reason we do it is that; yes we know we love them, but we also don't want them living with us for the rest of their lives! So, this is the first step to helping your child grow and learn!
Ask around, get recommendations, if you just moved to an area and don't know anyone yet, find a Facebook group and ask there. You want a licensed place so call the local Department of Family Services office to inquire about preschools and what specifically you are looking for as far as times and days. Next, you are going to need to get in that car and drive! You HAVE got to visit these places, you need to walk through the door and meet the staff, take a look at the other children, see how clean the place is. (I'm not talking toys, there should be toys everywhere, I'm talking does it look sanitary?!)
Are you greeted with respect? Are the teachers rude to you or each other? Do the children seem comfortable with the teacher? Does the teacher show you around but still stay engaged with you AND the children? The teacher should continue to do her job and answer your questions, she should not ignore her students and give you full attention. Does she/he include your child? Does she/he talk to your child and ask questions?
You need to be prepared with questions! You can never have too many questions! Pre-plan, write them down. This is an important decision. Do your homework, look into the program, check their website. A preschool should NEVER seem put out by answering your questions. When I meet parents and they ask a lot of questions I know that these are the parents that are invested in their child's education and the ones who truly believe in Early Childhood Education and its importance in a child's life.
How do you feel about the teacher? Do you think the teacher is being honest? Is he or she being their true self? Do you get good vibes? Do you feel like you could be friends with this person? For your choice in preschool to work, you must feel like the teachers and the program share the same values as you!
Make sure to ask if parents are welcome? Are you allowed to volunteer? Are you required to volunteer?
How will teachers contact you? How can you contact teachers? Is there a school app, website, Facebook page, email address or phones numbers you need to know of?
When you visit, take a friend if your spouse cannot go with you. If your spouse has to work, ask at your visit if it would be ok to come back for another visit when your spouse is available.
Feel free to make it know you are looking around at other schools. Because you should be! You can't just visit one and know it's for you, shop around! This is a big decision!
Bottom line, this is important. Your child going to preschool is important. Do your research, you need to feel good about this decision. Choose a place not just for your child, but for you as well. Does the school make you feel good? Trust your guts!
This post contains affiliate links which provides a small compensation for our website at no cost to you! Thank you for reading!
Abby Lazarus M.Ed.
Masters in Early Childhood Studies, Bachelors in Child Development and 13 years in the ECE profession.
Working at home with your Preschooler
It is imperative to your preschooler’s academic growth for you to be working with them on preschool skills at home. They need consistency between school and home. They need to regularly practice their skills to master them and be able to move on to new skills.
Support your child by reading to them EVERYDAY. It is not just a saying, reading daily does make you smarter! Also, correct their speech, if they mispronounce a word correct them, don’t allow them to believe it is cute, it will eventually become an issue, correct it while you can.
Talk,Talk,Talk to your child. Repeat what they say to you, talk all day long to them. The more you talk the more they talk. If you have nothing to say, turn on music and sing with them.
If you don’t know what your child needs to be working on at home, please ask a teacher. We know and would be happy to email you a personalized list of items your child needs to practice.
Continue to stay involve, ask questions, we like questions! It is important for you to understand where your child is at academically so you can continue to support and advocate for them. Don’t assume they know something. You may be surprised to find out what they do and do not know.
We are here for you! Thank you for your dedication to your preschooler!
I have honestly found that the more I educate myself the more I am able to offer my students. The more growth I see in my students. This comes from consistently working towards bettering myself. Where I live it is not a requirement for me to have a degree to be a preschool teacher. However, I know that the more educated I am, the better I am equipped to educate my students.
Therefore, it was important to me to get my master’s degree, I knew I was not just helping myself but also, my family, my friends, my business, my preschoolers and their families. Educating one’s self is not just for that person receiving the education but also for the betterment of the community as a whole.
It also stands out to parents looking for a program. Do they pick the program with the owner/teacher/director with the High school diploma and a few training hours under her belt or the one with the college degrees?
In many places it is not necessary to hold a degree to work in the ECE profession, I certainly didn’t have a degree when I started! My point is not that you can’t do the job without a degree, I’m saying you become a better version of your self when you chose to continue your education. It does not have to be a college degree! Go to training's, get a certificate, READ everything you can get your hands on! Education comes in many different forms.
Invest in yourself! It’s always been a suggestion that teachers need to dedicate time for themselves, to avoid burnout. Treat yourself to a pedicure and take a book with you! Relax time and education in one!
I hope you put some time into your continued education. Feel free to share in the comments what you do for continued education!
I love to read other blogs, I love to read articles pertaining to my career, I love to continue to educate myself; but what I don't have a lot of is TIME.
It's hard for me to read posts that do not get straight to the point. I don't need a bunch of details that are not pertinent. I want to know the facts. Give it to me straight!
So my promise to myself when I started the Teaching Peaches site was that I would post as many pictures of us actually DOING the activity in the classroom, and that whatever I said it would be straight and to the point.
If I buy something for my classroom and share about it, i'll give you a quick explanation as to why I like it and where I bought it, so that you can get yourself one and like it too! No need to talk on and on about it. You are busy!
I've been working on the Teaching Peaches website for a few months now and i'm loving having an outlet to share what its like to be a preschool teacher. I love having my own space to share with others what I use to create a school I am proud of.
Thank you for continuing to read and support! Happy Teaching!
If you have been an ECE professional for any amount of time you have undoubtedly heard about the importance of observations and assessments. This element of your teaching life is crucial. These tools help you to understand at all times what each child in your care needs to be working on, so that you may continue to scaffold their skills. Not just academically but socially, emotionally, and physically as well.
This plays into how and what you plan for your students. Every child needs something different from you.
We sit down monthly to plan for the month to come. While we usually have a "theme" idea already in mind we really are sitting down to come up with what activities need to be placed in the plan that will continue to support the needs of the children in the room based on what was assessed and observed.
If you look on our worksheet page on our website you will see the outline we use when planning. This gives us a visual of the activities planned and which category it falls under, we keep our thoughts and plans on paper so that each teacher knows whats going on and what we need to work on as the week moves along.
Now I must say, ALWAYS have a plan B! Sometimes things don't work and you have to move things around based on the kids attitudes and interests. NEVER make the children do something they do not want to do. School is supposed to be fun, if they are not having fun, they are not going to want to go to school! That is why you have to know your children, inside and out. You need to know and understand the children you are planning for. What do they need to work on to prepare for Kindergarten? Which activity can you add to your plans to help them achieve mastering this skill? These are the question you should consistently be asking yourself if you are a teacher of preschoolers.
A pre-designed curriculum does not know your children, and not every plan works for every child. Shake things up, don't use the same curriculum. You will get bored and your children will notice, and they won't be interested if you are not enthusiastic and genuine in your teaching. Keep things fun for you AND the kids. If you need to use more than one curriculum and enhance it with your own ideas! There are a lot of websites out there that want to support you on your preschool teaching journey! Chances are you came across this searching for preschool ideas! Good for you!
Take a chance, trust yourself and start teaching the children in your room the way the deserve. Follow their lead, get to know them, and plan FOR them.
Abby Lazarus M.Ed.
Masters in Early Childhood Studies and Bachelors in Child Development. 13 Years in the ECE profession.
I just wanted to share one of the resources I find helpful when researching and working on my classroom curriculum. Education.com has gone through some changes recently. They used to have articles pertaining to education, but have now moved to just providing resources, like work sheets and online activities for children.
While I have never used the online portion for students, it looks like it would be great for programs who use computers. The website serves teachers and parents of children all ages.
Great resource for science fair projects is a major plus and I always recommend parents look at this page when they talk to me about being stressed out about upcoming science fairs with their school aged children.
Without being a member you can download and print 10 pages a month for FREE. So for the longest time I just did this. Then at the beginning of this school year I decided to take the plunge and become a paid member. I love knowing I have endless printable and resources on hand. It's worth the money.
I really think you should head over check things out and start using the free resources when planning for your classroom.
Years ago we decided to purchase our classroom laminator. It was without a doubt the best purchase made for our classroom. We are constantly laminating! When we first got the laminator we were so excited, we laminated everything we could find! It was like teacher Christmas.
We didn't spend a lot on the laminator either. We of course bought it from our classroom supply go to, Amazon. We find a lot of our supplies on Amazon. This is the one we bought and the sheets we buy to go with it.
When we first bought these sheets, we weren't sure about quality, but you sure couldn't beat the price for 100 sheets. They work wonders! Quality is great!
The laminator is small, so when something needs to be laminated and we don't get to it during the day it can easily be taken home to use.
We used the machine to laminate the bingo boards we use in our classroom and various other classroom materials. Great for laminating worksheets to use with expo markers, so that they can be used over and over. Expo markers wipe right off, but if the expo is left on to long you will need a baby wipe or magic eraser to get it off.
Make sure you get a laminator for your classroom no matter how big or small your school is, I promise you will use it more than you think!
We always have our preschoolers pick up their own mess. Obviously they are 2.5-5 year old's and things do not always get put back where they belong. So instead of spending hours every Friday resorting things when it gets bad, we have the kids help.
We dump out messy bins that contain items that don't belong in them and have the kids find the right home for them. We have to do this about every two weeks. Slowly as the year goes on we see kids putting things away in the wrong place less and less because they have figured out they are going to have to help sort it. This helps them learn where everything is as well.
We also have the kids wipe down tables and chairs. Cleaning is an important responsibility to learn. I know we have had several parents realize their children are cleaning and helping at school and they begin to see their children should be helping with chores at home as well. Children learn through doing, and cleaning is a hands on activity. They are learning Small and Gross motor skills through household and classroom chores. So cleaning is learning!