New Preschool Teacher? How To Get Your Children To Engage In Class

If you're new to teaching and have decided to become a preschool teacher, you have a long, yet very enjoyable road ahead of you. When it comes to trying to engage and encourage a group of preschoolers, you can compare it to trying to herd a group of cats together. Each child has their own idea of what they want to do and what fun is, which is normally very different from your own. Here are a few tips for managing your preschool classroom:

1. Be Over-Prepared.

While downtime may work if you're teaching 6th grade, it just simply won't cut it in preschool. Consider downtime as your worst possible enemy. Your three-year-olds could attempt to take over the entire world as you are trying to hunt for that lousy box of crayons. Prior to class beginning each day, make sure that all of your materials, supplies, etc. are in one place. You also need to make sure that you are fully prepared with your lesson – know it like the back of your hand.

2. Be Enthusiastic.

You've seen preschool shows on television, right? There is never a bland personality or a monotone voice. The people are also upbeat and festive, which means that you need to be as well in the classroom. Whether you are telling a story or you are teaching ABCs, make things come alive and be fun.

3. Involve All of the Children.

When you're teaching, make sure to involve each and every child. When you're reading a story, get them involved. Have them repeat certain phrases, act out motions or make appropriate sound effects. The more involved these kids are in your lesson, the less trouble they can get into. Plus, the more involved they are, the more likely they will understand the meaning behind the story.

Remember, this includes the scraggly ones, who more than likely just need a little extra attention. Call them by name, have them sit by you, or let them hold your story prop – these little things can do wonders in getting them to open up and take part in the classroom.

4. Keep Things Short.

Don't go overboard with your lesson. Preschool kids have very short attention spans, and you need to hone in on that fact. A 10-minute lecture is simply not going to allow a three-year-old to sit in his spot on the rug patiently. While you may have a lot you want to teach your kids, you need to remember that less is more. Make sure your one story is short, amazing and has a single thing that the child needs to remember.

5. Use Consistency When Getting Their Attention.

With young ones, consistency is key. These preschoolers need to be taught how to prepare to listen. You'll have to find what works for you and your classroom, but some suggestions include turning the light switch off and then back on, clapping in a specific pattern and counting to three. Once you figure out what works, stick to it. Preschoolers can be trained rather easily because they tend to like a routine, but it does take time, effort and consistency on your part.

For more information, contact Sammamish Montessori School or a similar location.