As you all know, I'm getting my degree in Early Childhood, which allows me to teach in a preschool, or have my own. Well, as I'm in this last semester of school at UVU, I am in a class called Practicum. It basically means that I'll be practicing teaching and being in the classroom, under supervision, and getting graded on it. Which is pretty sweet, if you ask me. Put me in a classroom twice a week for 4 hours at a time and give me a grade for teaching and playing with the cutest, funniest 4 year olds? While at the same time getting GREAT teaching ideas from the fellow teachers! Hello, heaven.
Seriously though, it's the greatest thing I've ever done, and I'm so excited to do this as my career! I recently posted a status on Facebook saying "Second week in the preschool and I've already written a lead lesson plan, centers plan for a whole week, and a literacy plan! And I'm teaching by myself tomorrow!" Then I realized that people probably don't know what a "lead lesson plan" "centers plan" and "a literacy plan" is. So, here I am now to describe in detail! But I'm only going to describe one at a time, so I don't bore all of you that don't care about teaching preschool.
When the children come in at the beginning of the day, they have their "free play" time at different areas in the room which we call "centers". There are multiple centers, including but not limited to, sensory table (this week we've had different activities concerning ice, next week will be water, last week was cotton balls and the similarities they have to snow.. etc), blocks, writing, dramatic play (last week we had a tent and a pretend camp fire where they could roast marshmallows, there's always dress up clothes.. basically the area that they can pretend to do anything they can imagine), kitchen/play house, and a library area. We have goals and objectives for each area, so they are secretly learning while they are playing! (Yeah, we're pretty sneaky :) It is so much fun! So when I said I created a centers plan for the whole week, it means that I choose a center, and create activities for the children to do everyday they are there (if they choose) with a common theme. I chose water, so one day they'll be exploring which items can float/sink (example), another day they will be measuring water in cups, bowls, spoons, putting water through funnels, etc. Another day they will be experimenting with pepper and dish soap (example), and the last day they will be experimenting with mixing colors by using condiment type squirt bottles (example)!
There are 16 children in the class that I'm student teaching in, and there are 3 other student teachers, one main teacher, two assistant teachers, one aid teacher that helps two girls with hearing aids, and every Thursday and Friday, there's a nurse accompanying one girl in a wheelchair. So yes.. there are sometimes 9 ADULTS in the room with 16 children. Yes, it is stressful. If I got claustrophobic, it would definitely be happening when this occurs. In a few weeks though, when us student teachers get the hang of things in the preschool, the two assistant teachers will be sent elsewhere to do other tasks outside of the classroom. I can't wait for that day.
So wish me luck that I catch on to things quickly (I'm already doing spectacularly, if you ask me :)
Also, wish me luck/pray for me tomorrow as I am teaching about penguins for the whole day!! I'll tell you how that goes (: