General chatter - Workspace Meltdown

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04-16-2012, 02:15 PM
I am totally having a meltdown right now from work. I feel like I need some advice. I have a kindergarten class that sees me twice a week for 30 minutes for art that I'm feeling like it's torture with behavior issues. I'm finding that the classroom teacher is telling them stuff and not informing me of the "rules" she set in place. At that age range they can't handle too much change. Then when I ask the teacher what is going on she pretends like she can't or didn't do anything. I don't want her sitting in my classroom nor do I want her to tell the kids how to sit or what to do when they come in but I feel like I'm losing control. The class has 35 students in it and it feels like I'm doing more yelling than actual teaching. The artwork comes out great but I have a headache by the time it's over. I'm wondering if I should say something else to her like stop telling the students where to sit and that they will get consequences after my class if you aren't going to follow through. It just belittles my position even more. I think maybe I should just not tell her about the happenings in my class and keep it at that. Not sure.

04-16-2012, 02:53 PM
Is it your classroom space or hers? I always think that in my room -- my rules. But I guess everyone's different. I would say that if she is coming into your physical space perhaps you could delicately say that you'd be more comfortable using your own guidlines than hers. If you are going into her space I would ask her if you can use your own rules. I hate having other adults in my classroom but I've learned to try to keep them busy. Maybe you could get her to help out with cutting up paper or mixing tempera or whatever cool things you have planned. I don't teach little guys but it would be hard to keep them on track--that's for certain. Have you ever read "Teach like your hair's on fire"? by Rafe Esquith? He has tons of cool sort of ideas for management. It's a super cool book. I guess it has no information on other teachers' rules though. Wow. Am I rambling. Anyways best of luck to you.

04-16-2012, 03:06 PM
Talk to your teacher person. Does she bring the kids and stay or does she go do work and come back to pick them up to walk them to the other classroom?

Talk to your principal.

Kids aren't stupid. They can totally understand Teacher A rules in Classroom A and then Teacher B rules in classroom B.

Like you don't get to run around in the regular classroom. But you DO get to run around some in PE class!

I used to teach nursery/prek level and it wasn't the kids making me nuts. It was the other teacher. She had NO discipline and then the kids came in wild. But when she went away, and they were under my direction, they were fine, pleasant, easy to deal with. Kiddie moments, sure, but nothing like when she was around.


04-16-2012, 03:20 PM
First off, I commend you for dealing with Kindergarteners. There's a reason my cert is in 1-6 and not in early childhood.

Children can understand different sets of rules in different circumstances. They have a set of rules at home I'm sure and they are expected to follow a different set at school. While 5 year olds may have trouble dealing with change, they have to start learning that the rules change depending on their circumstances.

If you're in a different room that makes it much, much easier. It's a different space after all so it will be easy for them to realize that there are different rules. If you go to their room, you can use the fact that they are getting a different teacher as a transition into a new set of rules.

You need to gather the class and dedicate a period to going over the rules that are expected of them and how they should act in art class. If they are going to your room, have the teacher leave them in the hallway, you greet them outside and bring them in and assign their seats. This will help show that you're in charge...right now the children probably still believe that their teacher is in charge and do not see you in charge. Remember when you were a kid and the teacher stepped out for a minute and it was pure chaos? That's what happening here most likely.

I had the same issue on a smaller scale. I teach resource room and the kids didn't see me as a "real teacher" until I put my foot down, set some rules for my classroom and made it clear that there were certain things expected of them.

04-16-2012, 03:25 PM
Its my classroom but she had told them stuff today before they came and then neglected to tell me about all this stuff she spewed to them. I realized I am way more mad because she did this on the day with a parent across the hall more over than anything. I've mended the problem once before but the seams came undone. I will look into the book. I've just got to get a grip on how I can change my management... With the weight loss I've been better over all with not letting my students step on me like that but I haven't gotten around to adults better. I need to get over the feeling of being set up to looking like a fool. When I talked to her about the behaviors she just kept looking at the parent and smirking like I was a dummy.

Edit: She brings them and leaves but I don't have this problem with the other classes I teach. Just hers. The teachers were both screaming at them in the hallway about taking away their recess if they get a bad report and I tell her about the bad report.... Sigh.

04-16-2012, 04:16 PM
Edit: She brings them and leaves but I don't have this problem with the other classes I teach. Just hers. The teachers were both screaming at them in the hallway about taking away their recess if they get a bad report and I tell her about the bad report.... Sigh.

I hate this kind of discipline. My son's pre-k teacher (via public school) was threatening to take away their field trip if this one child didn't sit on his spot on the carpet. I don't think she would or could follow through but that makes it even worse! There are lots and lots of really good, dedicated teachers out there and some that really suck. [/rant]

Sorry this teacher is undermining you and is uncooperative. Hopefully you can find a way to communicate that she finally "gets."

04-16-2012, 05:07 PM
It's your class and you need to define yourself as an authority, explain the rules to the kids and reward them when they're behaving properly. I feel that with small children reward works much better than punishment.
As for the teacher, there has to be communication between you two, or else the kids will get confused. Confront her and try and discuss what's bothering you because you don't need the extra stress in your life.