I teach at a kindy and would like to seek advice concerning discipline strategies to calm the kids that they better focus on the lesson taught. Rather than walk around and not pay attention. I have a new kid who has had little prior schooling and he just is not able to sit, his language ability is not to bad for his age, but he just can
Kindy kids are little…their development varies. Usually “lesson” plans for this age group should be very, very short. You might need six different activities for a half-hour, because they need to switch back and forth. They are not suited nor able to sit and focus on anything for more than about 5 minutes.
As for the physiological problems with pronunciation…I would not necessarily swallow this teacher’s word unless s/he has some credentials to back it up. Some segments of English phonology develop late, and while we screen for things like /l/ and /r/ and /s/ in the States early on, it’s not always considered abnormal. I can’t remember the exact age guidelines for intervention, though, because I took the course like 8 years ago. (I wonder how much this particular teacher knows about teaching pronunciation, too…can s/he accurately “teach” you how to pronounce the segments s/he is questioning in these students??)
Since the kid has had very little schooling before your class he will likely take a few weeks to settle then. Don’t forget that the Chinese teachers will be workign on his classroom behavior even when you are not there teaching. He’ll adapt soon enough.
In the meantime, try to be nice to the kid. If he stands up, go over and lead him back to his seat. If you have to, do it repeatedly. If you think he is taking advantage of you or the situation ask a Chinese teacher or the supervisor to intervene. They can talk to him in a tone that would only frighten him if it came from you. Don’t get angry, but if you do, make sure it is only after you have a good relationship with the student.
Basically, try not to let it get to you. It will pass soon. Always remember that your long term goals will not be served by getting angry now.
I’ll try to give some more specific advice tomorrow about calming kids down and helping them focus. But I need to get to bed now.
Looking forward to reading that.
- This is the National Network for Child Care. Great site. Go to the articles and research section and you’ll find dozens of professionally written articles on child care. Do you want to know about the different stages of children’s development? It’s all here.
- This article is from the NNCC and deals directly with disciplining children.
- This article talks about what is a normal amount of anti-social behavior. It even has a chart of different behaviors. Very useful to help get a sense of perspective. I think it said almost every child will display one or two acts of anti-social behavior a day. More if you are related to Blueface.
Can you tell me more about your school? Do the children have English all day or only for a few hours a week? It makes a big difference in how you plan your activities. Ironlady said that you should not plan activities longer than 5 minutes. For the very youngest ones (3-4, or Shauban) that’s true, but if the kids are older (4-6 and have been learning English for a while), activities can be up to 20 minutes, longer for things like art and cooking where they are mostly working on their own.
Thanks Mucha Man for providing the articles, from a quick look they look really informative. I’ll tell you my thoughts later.
In regards to the kindy I teach. The main class are a group of kids aged 4-5, I teach them everyday for about 2 hours. The English level for that age group is quite good, but vary, some better than others. Kids behaviour is pretty good, just a few kids who are quite hyper and have difficulty sitting without moving and figetting. It’s these kids that influence and at times disrupt the class. At present I’ve been using a reward system of stars to provide positive enforcement of participation and co-operation in the class. & erasure of stars for mis-behaviour. This works with the majority of students, just one or two. I have also tried placing a disruptive student in a area of a room restricting his movement within a small circular area. However am a bit reluctant to enforce this as the kid seems be quite upset by the experience. Guess, I’m just trying to understand the psychology of the kids and the ways they view the world to better equip myself in channeling their energies for learning, so they fulfil their own potentials. so all advice welcomed.