I am a preschool teacher and part-time English Language tutor. This is my living portfolio; a forum for documenting and facilitating my growth as a young teacher.
In October 2011, I came to my preschool classroom as the newest of three co-teachers in an established room in an arts-based child care center. Having worked in a younger classroom in the same center for a year beforehand, I already knew and loved the children and two other full-time teachers. Many of the children are students I had in my class previously, when they were younger, and my co-teachers and I enjoy a great dynamic; our differing styles compliment each other well. Ours is a collaborative classroom, with no lead teacher or authority ranking; this blog documents my efforts and projects as my personal portfolio, but that is not meant to diminish the work of my co-teachers.
Though I am the most recent addition to the classroom, my co-teachers have made me very welcome and I've settled into my own. My proudest edition to the classroom has been making circle time a more established routine. We begin every morning and afternoon (post-nap) by singing "Everybody Have a Seat" (hence my URL) which the children now recognize as a signal to clean up and gather for reading library books as a group. I made a poster-board calendar with velcro dates and months, so we sing a days-of-the-week song everyday, discuss the date and sometimes count "in our special calendar way" (e.g. 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.), and have recently added a months-of-the-year song. I printed Dr. Jean's weather wheel, and we sing her "What Will the Weather Person Say" Song. The kids love being the Weather Person, looking out the window and announcing the day's weather. Adorably, the class has somehow concluded that whatever the weather person says will be the real weather for the day, regardless of how it actually looks outside. The class also learned a song for the continents at Circle and is still working on a Bingo-style song for vowels.
I love teaching through music, especially with children at such a wiggly stage. One of my favorite songs to sing is Dr. Jean's "Seven Little Letters,", though I modified it to be "Twenty-six Letters," so we can sing the song as long as the moment calls for. We also love Frank Leto's Colors song, especially to keep ourselves quite while waiting in the hall for the bathroom. I learned this song at a Montessori school I worked in during college, and there we also signed the colors as we sang. I recently introduced the sign language alphabet to our Circle Time rotation, and I found this video for signing the colors, so I am excited to soon teach the signs for the colors we use in the song.
My next post will give a foundation of the work I do as an English language tutor.
The question I hope to answer for myself here is: what next? I am interested in returning to school for a master's in Early Childhood Education. I have a master's in linguistics, so I am considering non-degree teacher certification. I am also researching a master's in English for Speakers of Other Languages. I am optimistic that with a purposeful exploration of my current work, I can discover the work that will best fulfill me in the future.