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Thread: Teaching styles

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    I'm switching my major in college, so I'm going to be starting Early Childhood Education classes in the fall. I was hoping to teach something like Kindergarten or 1st grade. I feel like it might not be suited for me, though. I don't want class to be the same routine every day (ex. reading at 9, writing at 10, etc.). I know you have to teach them the basics, but I was hoping most of the time class could be arts & crafts stuff, me reading them disney stories, watching disney movies, & just letting them play with board games. I also don't believe in punishment, so I would never give a kid time out or anything. I believe everything can be talked out. I wouldn't have assigned seats either. Really, the job sounds cool to me, because it seems like it wouldn't get old like an office job. Kids are just so full of energy & life & can be funny & entertaining. I also play guitar (need to brush up on it, though), so maybe I could work that into teaching some music too. For the actual teaching part I figured I could mostly just have flash cards for different things like math, words, animals, shapes, etc. (or is that more pre-k ish?). I also don't want to give them any homework. I want to be like the cool teacher. I don't believe in talking down to kids either. I think I might be setting myself up for getting way in over my head.

    Would these things not fly with the administration? Is something like homework mandatory? What type are most elementary school teachers? What style of teaching do different types have? What's the best ways to reach each kids learning style?

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    @DreamBeliever - I'm afraid you're confusing me here. You think that teachers are allowed free range to do whatever they want in class? No, it doesn't work that way. If it did, many children wouldn't learn anything and there wouldn't be any standards. You're going to have a set curriculum to teach the kiddos. Obviously there is still room for creativity in the way you present the material, but it doesn't mean you can just do whatever you want.

    If you're in the US, I don't believe private schools have to necessarily follow a curriculum that is standard to the state/nation. However, that doesn't mean that they just let the kids paint pictures all day.

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    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DreamBeliever View Post
    I'm switching my major in college, so I'm going to be starting Early Childhood Education classes in the fall. I was hoping to teach something like Kindergarten or 1st grade. I feel like it might not be suited for me, though. I don't want class to be the same routine every day (ex. reading at 9, writing at 10, etc.). I know you have to teach them the basics, but I was hoping most of the time class could be arts & crafts stuff, me reading them disney stories, watching disney movies, & just letting them play with board games. I also don't believe in punishment, so I would never give a kid time out or anything. I believe everything can be talked out. I wouldn't have assigned seats either. Really, the job sounds cool to me, because it seems like it wouldn't get old like an office job. Kids are just so full of energy & life & can be funny & entertaining. I also play guitar (need to brush up on it, though), so maybe I could work that into teaching some music too. For the actual teaching part I figured I could mostly just have flash cards for different things like math, words, animals, shapes, etc. (or is that more pre-k ish?). I also don't want to give them any homework. I want to be like the cool teacher. I don't believe in talking down to kids either. I think I might be setting myself up for getting way in over my head.

    Would these things not fly with the administration? Is something like homework mandatory? What type are most elementary school teachers? What style of teaching do different types have? What's the best ways to reach each kids learning style?
    DisneyGeek is mostly right. I would disagree mainly in that letting teachers do their own thing would result in less learning, especially in the early elementary grades. Administrators do tend to want lesson plans set well ahead, and there will be curriculum requirements levied, whether at the school district level, state, or both.

    IME, however, all of these requirements and restrictions do as much to keep the good teachers from teaching well as to keep the poor teachers from teaching badly. It sounds like you would be a breath of fresh air for your average public school class. I don't agree with everything you have mentioned, though. Some students do need a fair amount of structure. Storytime at 9:00 every day, though, can be made different through taking turns reading (if simple enough), acting out, puppets, even songs; not to mention the variety of stories you choose.

    Most schools emphasize reading and math especially in the early grades, so there is no getting away from that. Flash cards are OK at that age, but just a small piece of the puzzle. For math, hands-on exercises are even better: a play "store" setup where they can count out money and make change; having them poll the class on something (# of siblings, kind of pet, etc.) and make graphs; even baking - a good lesson in fractions and simple operations. For reading and writing, there is no substitute for . . . reading and writing. They can read to each other, to you, to themselves. They can write, or start by drawing if they're not quite ready. At this point, fluency is more important than mechanics.

    So, be prepared to have to toe the line on some administrative and curricular requirements, but if you are lucky and your administrators are reasonable, this won't become a straitjacket. In any case, keep pushing the envelope and being creative. We need more teachers like that.
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    As I understand it, most elementary school teachers are SFs, high school teachers are fairly evenly split between S's and N's, and college professors are substantially more likely to be N's.
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    My mom is an ENFP, and was a music teacher for many years. We live in AZ, which is I believe still 52nd in education in the US. That's right, 52nd. Now, I don't know about areas of the country with better education, but here's what I can tell you about my mom and teaching here in AZ. She loved the kids. She loved them so much she'd spend every waking moment of her time doing prep work, planning outside activities like guitar lessons, musicals, concerts, etc. with them, but in the end, she had to quit. Why?? Because... even though she loved the kids, she HATED the principals. The ones she had to deal with throughout her career did not care much about the kids OR the staff at all. The way schools are nowadays, they only care about test scores, and everything else be damned. They're going to want you to stick to a schedule. A schedule specifically meant to prep these kids for the TESTS and acing the tests and getting the highest test scores. They're most likely not going to like the idea of arts & crafts and movies because these administrators do not understand how IMPORTANT they can be. Right now, AZ is literally trying to pass a bill that cuts out -ALL- non-core classes. -ALL- electives, music, arts, etc. They are trying to COMPLETELY eliminate it from the AZ kids' education.

    With younger kids, you might have to assign at least SOME homework so that they're getting a little practice outside class. But playing and socializing is especially important to children of that age so don't overload them. However, without any homework at all of any kind, it may actually hurt them a little in the long run because their future teachers most likely WILL bombard them with homework. You could be the one who kind of "weans" them onto it. Not too much, but not too little, either.
    There WILL be a curriculum. They WILL tell you what subjects you need to cover in your year. And most likely, it'll be a rush to get it all to fit into the school year. However, HOW you go about teaching it is up to you. Make it fun, fresh, and interesting to your students in as many ways as possible.

    Sorry I kind of went on a rant about AZ's crappy education system, lol. I'm just so frustrated that this state literally places absolutely 0 value on anything non-math and non-science. So many teachers here teach for the tests and don't motivate or interest kids at all!! It's so sad!! So many people hate school and hate learning here because they aren't being shown how fun education can really be when a subject interests you!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    DisneyGeek is mostly right. I would disagree mainly in that letting teachers do their own thing would result in less learning, especially in the early elementary grades. Administrators do tend to want lesson plans set well ahead, and there will be curriculum requirements levied, whether at the school district level, state, or both.

    IME, however, all of these requirements and restrictions do as much to keep the good teachers from teaching well as to keep the poor teachers from teaching badly. It sounds like you would be a breath of fresh air for your average public school class. I don't agree with everything you have mentioned, though. Some students do need a fair amount of structure. Storytime at 9:00 every day, though, can be made different through taking turns reading (if simple enough), acting out, puppets, even songs; not to mention the variety of stories you choose.

    Most schools emphasize reading and math especially in the early grades, so there is no getting away from that. Flash cards are OK at that age, but just a small piece of the puzzle. For math, hands-on exercises are even better: a play "store" setup where they can count out money and make change; having them poll the class on something (# of siblings, kind of pet, etc.) and make graphs; even baking - a good lesson in fractions and simple operations. For reading and writing, there is no substitute for . . . reading and writing. They can read to each other, to you, to themselves. They can write, or start by drawing if they're not quite ready. At this point, fluency is more important than mechanics.

    So, be prepared to have to toe the line on some administrative and curricular requirements, but if you are lucky and your administrators are reasonable, this won't become a straitjacket. In any case, keep pushing the envelope and being creative. We need more teachers like that.
    Totally agree with you, & thanks for the tips!

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    Quote Originally Posted by 21lux View Post
    My mom is an ENFP, and was a music teacher for many years. We live in AZ, which is I believe still 52nd in education in the US. That's right, 52nd. Now, I don't know about areas of the country with better education, but here's what I can tell you about my mom and teaching here in AZ. She loved the kids. She loved them so much she'd spend every waking moment of her time doing prep work, planning outside activities like guitar lessons, musicals, concerts, etc. with them, but in the end, she had to quit. Why?? Because... even though she loved the kids, she HATED the principals. The ones she had to deal with throughout her career did not care much about the kids OR the staff at all. The way schools are nowadays, they only care about test scores, and everything else be damned. They're going to want you to stick to a schedule. A schedule specifically meant to prep these kids for the TESTS and acing the tests and getting the highest test scores. They're most likely not going to like the idea of arts & crafts and movies because these administrators do not understand how IMPORTANT they can be. Right now, AZ is literally trying to pass a bill that cuts out -ALL- non-core classes. -ALL- electives, music, arts, etc. They are trying to COMPLETELY eliminate it from the AZ kids' education.

    With younger kids, you might have to assign at least SOME homework so that they're getting a little practice outside class. But playing and socializing is especially important to children of that age so don't overload them. However, without any homework at all of any kind, it may actually hurt them a little in the long run because their future teachers most likely WILL bombard them with homework. You could be the one who kind of "weans" them onto it. Not too much, but not too little, either.
    There WILL be a curriculum. They WILL tell you what subjects you need to cover in your year. And most likely, it'll be a rush to get it all to fit into the school year. However, HOW you go about teaching it is up to you. Make it fun, fresh, and interesting to your students in as many ways as possible.

    Sorry I kind of went on a rant about AZ's crappy education system, lol. I'm just so frustrated that this state literally places absolutely 0 value on anything non-math and non-science. So many teachers here teach for the tests and don't motivate or interest kids at all!! It's so sad!! So many people hate school and hate learning here because they aren't being shown how fun education can really be when a subject interests you!
    That's ok. You can rant alllllll day, if you want. I hate those state tests too!! I just want to make school fun for them & not overwhelm them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyGeek View Post
    @DreamBeliever - I'm afraid you're confusing me here. You think that teachers are allowed free range to do whatever they want in class? No, it doesn't work that way. If it did, many children wouldn't learn anything and there wouldn't be any standards. You're going to have a set curriculum to teach the kiddos. Obviously there is still room for creativity in the way you present the material, but it doesn't mean you can just do whatever you want.

    If you're in the US, I don't believe private schools have to necessarily follow a curriculum that is standard to the state/nation. However, that doesn't mean that they just let the kids paint pictures all day.
    Yep, I do live in the US. I think painting all day sounds like fun. lol Maybe with some music in the background too. I'd actually love to just hand them all big T-shirts, so they don't get paint all over their clothes, & say 'guess what kids? We're painting the classroom walls today! Everybody grab some paint & a brush!' This would be so fun to me, because I always wished we could paint our lockers or our dorm rooms. I have a feeling the principal would fire me for that. Guessing we couldn't change the color of the walls, so I guess I'd settle for some awesome decorations. I feel like I'm badly suited for work environments. hehe

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chanaynay View Post
    Oh, they a teacher?

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