Sunday, December 21, 2008

A new path?

It's going to be busy and I'm not so sure I'll get around to blogging again before the new year. I wanted to blog a little about where the year has taken me and where I think I might be going. Let's recap. I've worked in-home as a therapist for children with Autism. Then I went to Head Start. Then I left Head Start, thinking that I wanted to become a director. WRONG!!! I went back to Head Start, have been presented with my most challenging group yet, and have started my Ph.D. in Early Childhood.

As of late, I have begun looking into what I would need to do to get my Early Childhood Special Education teaching license for the state of Wisoconsin. This won't be a small feat, since I graduated with my Bachelor's in Elementary Education, Non-Certifiable. I won't go into why I made that decision. I don't regret it, but this means that I have to jump through some hoops that I would not have had to if I was "certifiable." I'm chatting with a few schools to see what sort of time frame I am looking at and what sort of options are available, especially since I've already got a Ph.D in progress. I'll keep you posted!!!

In the mean time, here are some great Early Childhood Special Education Resources.
WI DPI Early Childhood Special Education Info
Topics in Early Childhood Special Education
Council for Exceptional Children
Special Education in Preschool
Preschool Special Education
Creating an Inclusive Classroom
Special Education Information at Scholastic
Preschool Zone

Friday, December 19, 2008

Well, it's been awhile!

It has certainly been awhile since I have posted here. Things are going well. I'm back at Head Start and working with a classroom of children with some pretty high needs. I'm learning lots, that's for sure! I'm also working on my Ph.D in Early Childhood and I'm contemplating getting my Early Childhood Special Education license for the state of Wisconsin.

Here's a little info about the room I'm in this year:
  • I have 19 students who are all age three.
  • Two of my students have a documented disability and IEP
  • Three of my students have some behavioral concerns but no IEP at this point
  • Most of my students are present for the full day (my Head Start room has wrap around child care).
Here area some of the helpful accommodations or schedule adjustments that I have made at this point:
  • Large, posted visual schedule
  • I use visuals, such as a "First/Then board," as needed.
  • I have completely taken "large group" activities from daily schedule and have replaced them with small group activities only. For instance, many preschool classrooms have a large group for circle time. I do not because of the level of behavioral concerns that pop up when I have everyone together at one time. Instead, I do circle time during our "small group" time. Small groups are on a rotating schedule, so everyone does not do circle time every day.
  • I provide "heavy work" activities for the children who need them.
  • I have taken out all unneeded transitions. If I can make something happen without a large transition, I do. Because of this, our day looks relatively seamless. It may even appear that there is no set time for anything. Vanderbelt University has some wonderful work on transitions and how to make them more effective for your students. This guide was very helpful in my adjustments. Early Childhood Today also has some terrifc tips for succssful transitions.
  • Think proactively. I do a lot of prep. I over plan and I have stuff out and ready to go so that I do not need to spend time while the children are in the room getting things going. When the children are outside with the other teachers, I set up the room for our small group time so that we can dismiss right to small groups as we enter the room.
Until next time. . . . . .

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Leading the Way Confrence

Today was the Leading the Way Conference at UW-SP. Again, it was another wonderful conference at a very affordable rate. The Leading the Way Conference is something put together by several agencies, including the Wisconsin Rapids Child Care Resource and Referral.

This year's keynote speaker was Patricia Dischler and she was very funny. She currently has several books out that seem like worthwhile purchases.

I spoke at the first session, leaving me time to attend a few other sessions before heading home.
My presentation was less than steller this year and you can read about that here. I'm hoping for better luck next year. I did go to a very interesting presentation put together by the Registry, NTC, MSTC, and UW-SP. This was a very informative presentation regarding all of the educational opportunities for Early Childhood Professionals and the wonderful collaborations that are happening in Wisconsin between UW-SP and the technical college stystem.

While at this conference, I ran into some of the my old coworkers and had a pretty interesting discussion with them. They told me that staff are not pursuing continuing education opportunities locally because of the cost factor. Why was this interesting? Well, these same folks were willing to drive 40 minutes away to Stevens Point because this conference was less than half the cost of the presentations that are often offered in Wausau. This is an area of concern that I am going to bring to my next WECA meeting and see if we can come up with some solutions. It seems like such a shame that so many wonderful learning opportunties are being passed by right here in our own community.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

National Board Certification

I'm wondering how folks feel about early childhood teachers being Nationally Board Certified. I do not know any early childhood teachers who have sought this out, but I would be interested in chatting with someone in the future. From what I gather, the certification process has two components; an online test and a portfolio.

Education World has an article highlighting teachers who have gone through NBC and it sounds as though teachers are finding it to be a frustrating, but rewarding process. The center that I recently left was undergoing the rigorous process of becoming NAEYC accredited and I wonder how this process would compare. Wisconsin has a whole website dedicated to the NBC process and where teachers can find support. NAEYC does support National Board Certification and it's standards for the Advanced Programs of Early Childhood Professionals are alligned with NBFT Standards. Furthermore, the AFT supports NBFT and process to become a NBCT.

At this point, I'm in the learning/reading stages of trying to figure out if this is something that I want to pursure. I'm begining a Ph.D in Early Childhood soon and I'm unsure if becoming an NBCT will add anything further to that.

Goodbye Admin. . . . . . .

Well, I did leave the world of being a director. I learned a lot about myself and where my strengths lay. I believe I would have been a very successful director if I had been working for a smaller center at this point in my career. Perhaps I will walk that path again one day, but for now, teaching is where I should be--either in the the preschool classroom or in the college classroom!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Einstein Never Used Flash Cards

I'm reading, Einstein never Used Flash Cards, by Kathy Hirsch-Pasek and Roberta Michnick Golinkof. I'm thoroughly enjoying this book and it only further supports what I've learned as an undergraduate student. It also backs up what I am continually trying to get across to some teachers and parents where I'm working now.

This book was a big hit about five years ago, yet, I'm still seeing so much emphasis on teacher directed activities and little time spent playing. There is a tremendous pressure being placed on teachers, especially with NCLB. One might think that this pressure wouldn't trickle down into preschool and child care, but it most certainly does and parents seem to be feeling the pressure too.

Research demonstrates that play is important and develops serious skills needed for future learning. Yet, adults still continue to be too busy to find time to play with children and encourage children to play. Not only do children need to have time for unstructured play, adults do also, yet, we still continue to over schedule our selves and the children we work with.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Early Childhood Teacher's Unions: Helping or Harming

I've written previously about the catch 22 I'm in as a Director. If I want to hire high quality teachers, I need to really offer them more money. If the board were to approve an increase in wages, that would most certainly lead to an increase in tuition, especially since I'm working in the nonprofit sector. As this center moves in the direction of NAEYC Accreditation , the board will most certainly have to make this decision for the next fiscal year.

The center where I'm at is not the only facility caught in this catch 22. Something needs to happen at a bigger level if Early Childhood Educators are to truly be fairly compensated in the long run. I've heard a bit about Early Childhood Teacher's Unions and I wonder if they help or harm the issue over all. What is your experience with teacher's unions in the Early Childhood industry?

Friday, August 29, 2008

Radio Shows!

I am excited to discover that NAEYC has it's very own radio program. What a wonderful way to get some free training right in the comfort of your own home! I will definitely be taking advantage of this wonderful resource and will encourage my staff to also.

I found some other wonderful, free, early childhood related radio or tv programming/podcasts. The first can be found at Early Childhood News, one of my favorite websites. The next is found at Teachers TV and has many resources for a wide range of education topics, not just early childhood. Similarly, there is also Teachernet, a video channel out of the UK. Finally, there is the Parent's Journal, which is geared toward parents, but has lots of great information to share.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Stress Management

Something that I didn't know before I began this adventure into preschool administration is how stressful my position would be. I think some of it has to do with the size of the center I work for (112 children) and the circumstances that I entered my position under (major issues in two classrooms, staffing problems, NAEYC accreditation, and organization-wide adoption of a curriculum). However, some of what I didn't understand before I took this position, was the amount of daily stress I would undergo.

For me, this has become a bit of a personal road block. I would describe myself as a Highly Sensitive Person and that is a bit of a mixed blessing. Being as sensitive as I am allows me to be in tune with my staff, parents, children, and coworkers. However, this causes me to also be highly sensitive to subtleties and react more severely or be more easily stressed by things that happen in my life. In other words, I over react because what I'm feeling is a bit more severe than what others may be feeling about the exact same situation.

I'm at a real cross roads right now because I'm trying to determine weather or not I'm going to be able to get a grasp on the stress involved with the work that I'm doing. My job is challenging, and I like that. I'm using all my talents, but this job also emphasizes my areas of weakness, such as remaining outwardly calm and collected in high stress, quick thinking situations. This is particularly true when a parent comes to me with a complaint or challenges me on something that I really need to think about before answering.

Our Executive Director assures me that I am doing a fine job and feels that I am being too hard on myself regarding my performance. I am conflicted because I'm having a difficult time determining if the stress and anxiety I'm feeling has to do with my own personal weaknesses or if I am in a position where I have never been as challenged as I currently am.

Friday, August 8, 2008

How to Appologize

This was sent to me by The Early Childhood Exchange. They have many wonderful resources available, some of which are free. One of the free resources is a weekly newsletter that one can subscribe to. I find about 80% of the information sent is meaningful to either myself, my employees, or the parents at the center where I'm working. I found this article, and the links within it, both helpful and amusing in some circumstances.


How to Apologize

August 8, 2008
Give children the time and the space to work it out.
Karen Stephens

The August issue of Wired magazine includes many "how to" tips including how to build an army of followers, how to donate money, how to dress like a hipster, how to pretend to be working, and how to win at rock, paper, scissors. Here are their suggestions on how to apologize:

  1. Come clean quickly. Even a heartfelt apology loses its luster after a string of denials and equivocations.... You look like you fessed up only because you got cornered.
  2. Take the rap. A good apology is a clear admission of guilt. Avoid the passive voice ("mistakes were made") or weasel words ("I'm sorry if you...") that sh ift blame onto others — especially the person you wronged.
  3. Make good. If material harm was done ... clean it up or pay for it. If the damage was emotional, list the steps you're taking to ensure that it never happens again.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


About two months ago, I became a member of the WCCAA (Wisconsin Child Care Administrator's Association). This has become a highly valuable resource. It provided me the chance to brainstorm with field veterans and it facilitated the opportunity to get insight regarding life as a director, from someone outside of my employer.

Professional organizations provide one with the opportunity to network and develop as a Early Childhood professional. Personally, I wish more educators in this field would seek out the use of professional organizations. I'd be interested in learning why more do not. There are many professional organizations in this field, most of which are quite cost effective. Below, you will find a variety of links to professional organizations.


American Federation of Teachers
Institute for Educational Leadership
National Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators
National Child Care Association

Monday, June 23, 2008

Professional Development Resources

I have been hunting and scouring the web for low cost professional development resources that I can use within my center. Of course, it's great to get outside the center for professional development, but the sad fact is, many of my staff won't go to a training if they have to pay for the training and THEN get reimbursed for it.

According to them, this is partially because they are living paycheck to paycheck. Personally, I was living paycheck to paycheck when I was in a direct teaching position also, but I found any way I could to attend trainings. I would volunteer so I could receive reduced admission, talk with my employer about the cost, or ask my employer to cover at least part of the training for me if it was work related.

I don't have direct control over weather my staff can have trainings paid for up front, but if they would just ask, I would definitely look into it. I want to make additional training easy for my staff, so I'm looking into as many free options as possible. Currently, I have three guest speakers lined up to attend staff meetings to provide my staff with training, however, I want to do more for them. I want them to be educated and feel well trained to do their jobs.

So----here are some free or very cheap professional development opportunities that I have discovered via the web.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Teacher Freebies!

Part of what I like about my current position is the opportunity to share with my team some of the neat-o resources I have picked up along the way. I would go as far as to say that this is the highlight of my position. After all, why hoard the knowledge? So, one of the cool things that I discovered while working for Head Start was how many free things I could get for my classroom if I were just willing to ask for it.

So--here it is! The GIANT list of freebies for teachers!

Teacher Freebies
Teacher Freebies 2
Teacher Freebies 3
Teacher Freebies 4
Teacher Freebies 5
Teacher Freebies 6
Teacher Freebies 7
Teacher Freebies 8

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Choosing my attitude

If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.
Don’t complain.
-Maya Angelou

I want to spend this time to write about the power of choosing a good attitude. There are many wonderful resources indicating that attitude, especially, choosing a positive attitude, does make a difference in one's life. I found some great articles and suggestions at . I especially liked their tip of using daily affirmations. This is something that I have been trying. In the morning, I have been telling myself, "I'm having a great day," and before bed I've been telling myself, "Tomorrow will be great." This was something also suggested at I also am enjoying Think Simple Now's thoughts about having a positive attitude. What I'm reading there is helping me sort through and find meaning in a current struggle I'm having now. I particularly like the quotes from Viktor E. Frankl.

Everyday a new challenge and opportunity to learn something new!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The things I have learned in the past two and a half months!

I'm almost to my third month as a Preschool Center Director. I've learned a significant amount and I've made some mistakes along the way. Some what I've learned has come from the observations from moving from one employer to a new employer and some has been through my own mistakes as a new director.
  • Be an excellent listener. I'm a talker. What I've learned in my first few months is that I need to push my listening skills to a new level. This is something that I actively need to do every day and, I'll be honest, can be a challenge. If you do not have excellent listening skills, start working on them.
  • Know your day care regulations,staff, and parent hand books. I live in the state of Wisconsin. My regulations can be found here. Not only is it imperative that one spend time reading and understanding these, it is also important to understand how your licenser, staff, and parents will interpret the information found in these works. Be prepared to explain to any one of these individuals how what you are doing is with in compliance of your state regulations, staff, or parent handbooks. If you're able to do this, it will save you some headache in the future. Also, make sure that what your staff are telling parents matches what is in your parent hand book. This seems to be a "no brainer," however, the center where I'm at currently has some inconsistencies. As a new director, I'm put in a very sticky situation when the messages being conveyed to parents contradict the messages being conveyed in our parent handbook.
  • If your center does not have them already, please develop clear policies and procedures. This will cut down on confusion and make the hiring of new staff much easier. In addition, this will make your staff training clear-cut and will ensure that staff are "on the same page" with the messages that are being conveyed to parents.
  • You can't make everyone happy, so stop trying right away! I'm not saying don't strive for excellence. Do. Be the best Director you can be. I'm saying, don't try and please everyone at one time. There will never be a single situation where everyone; parents, staff, the administration team, or the governing board; will be happy.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Make yourself unique

From Child Care Exchange: A little advice that I could use, so I thought I would share it.

One of the resources in Exchange's Center Manager's Tool Kit is a CD collection of Exchange articles on "Avoiding Burnout." Included on this CD is the article "Go For the Gusto — Put Zest Back In Your Job," which offers this advice on making yourself unique...

"Joyce Brothers, writing on the factors of success in business in How to Get What You Want Out of Life (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1978), observed, 'The more you can bring more than one facet or talent to a job, the greater your probability of success. You can make yourself unique. You can work to acquire a cluster of skills that no one else has.'

"Think abou t what excites you about your job and about your life outside the job. What are your prime skills? What other professional challenges interest you? Can you combine your current skills and interests into a unique and rewarding career?

"If, for example, you have mastered the tasks involved in administering a child care center, and now you find yourself increasingly intrigued by computers, maybe you can build a business out of helping child care centers enter the computer age. If your strongest suit is the marketing of your organization, maybe you could set up a marketing service for a network of centers.

"Overhaul your work day. Keep an appointment book with you for several days, logging in what you are doing every 15 minutes. Now take a close look at how your time is allocated. During what amount of your workday are you called upon to exercise your strongest professional skills? How much of your time is spent handling mundane clerical or administrative tasks that could just as well be handled by a lesser-trained individual? How much of your time is devoted to evaluation, development, and innovation? How much of it is consumed by maintenance activities and fire fighting? How much of your time is deliberately planned by yourself? How much is controlled by others through phone calls and drop-in visits?

"Now take a stab at fantasizing your ideal work day. How much time would you spend on reading and writing? How much time would you allocate to talking with your staff? When would you come in to work and when would you go home? How would you put your peak performance times to best use? How can you bridge the gap between how you really spend your time and how you know you should?"

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Stout Conference

My presentations at Stout went pretty well. My first group was highly interactive and my second was not, so I got a little taste of both. I was organized and stayed on track, so that was a big plus! Also, my technology worked just fine. I seemed to have a good report with the audience in each group. I'm hoping I can get copies of my evaluations so I can see what I can improve on for next time.

I'd like to blog about one presentation that I really enjoyed. It was called, "The six habits of highly effective teachers," and it was given by Dr. Judy Herr. Her presentation was fabulous. It was her personal take on the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People as it relates to teaching. If you ever get the chance to hear her speak, do so! I definitely will be looking into some of her books for my staff.

Some newly discovered resources that I'd like to share!
Early Childhood News
Early Childhood Focus
The Foundation for Child Development
Council for Professional Recognition
The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards
The National Prekindergarten Center

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Love and Logic

On Saturday, I worked at a Love and Logic class as part of my volunteer efforts with my local NAEYC affiliate. Saturday was our kick off for the Week of the Young Child. Attendance for the class was great. Love and Logic is a positive approach to parenting that can be easily applied to teaching. A short summary of the basics can be found here and a nice summary can be found here. I really like Love and Logic, it pairs nicely with my center's curriculum, the Creative Curriculum.

Love and Logic Links and Resources

Love and Logic Project Real
Love and Logic Experiment Day 2
Creating a Love and Logic Classroom
How to use Love and Logic in the Classroom
Love and Logic: Learning and Growing through Mistakes

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Another One Bites the Dust

No, I'm not quitting! I had another staff give her two week notice that she is leaving. I started March 3rd and three staff have given their notice during that time! All staff were considering leaving before I stepped it, but it has been a lot to deal with in my first month of work! I'd love to hear some ideas about how to recruit quality preschool teachers and keep them!

Monday, March 31, 2008

The quest for teachers and teacher retention


I'm learning quick at my new job. I'm learning that there are two main groups that I have to work to please. The first group, the preschool and child care teachers, are over worked and under paid for the most part. Many of which are quiet under educated for that matter. However, what many of our teachers lack in education, they make up for in experience. This leads me to the big question often debated in the realm of early childhood education. What's more important: education or experience? I argue that the ideal early childhood teacher would have a combination of both.

The second group of individuals that I have to please are the parents. Of course , the children are the main "customers" when working in the field of early childhood, but these are not the folks who say, "yeah" or "neigh" when it comes to attending the childcare center. Where the delicate balance and struggle occurs is when I try to please both parties. Despite both parties wanting to champion for children and are essentially present because of children, both parties find themselves disagreeing at times about what's best for the children. And this--well, it leaves me in the middle.


So, that brings me to my next point. I'm learning that a lot of my job is recruitment. I either am recruiting children for the center or I am recruiting staff for the center. Currently, the focus is on the recruitment of staff. We are short four teachers at this point and, really, I could stand to hire at least two extra "float" teachers to be used for subbing or days off. Why my employer has never had a sub list is a mystery to me.

I've recently interviewed a very promising hire only to hear that the wage we were offering was not high enough. She almost had an Associate's degree completed, yes, but she did not have the course work to qualify for EC 1 or EC 2 in the state of WI. Therefore, she couldn't be offered anymore than barely above our minimum rate, which is within the "normal" range for assistant teachers. I was unable to offer her any more and I lost a potentially great employee.

One could argue that because she wouldn't take the offer given, she didn't really want the job as a teacher. However, all workers should get to enjoy a fair wage. I don't believe any one is expecting millions here, just something fair. It's a sad state when the people who flip hamburgers make more than those who are taking care of human beings.

As a new director, I am longing to find out how I can recruit high quality teachers in an industry that refuses to pay it's employees the amount that they're really worth. I've been doing some research and I'm going to post some additional links here. Maybe you have some ideas for me! What has worked for you in your centers? How do you hire great employees?



Monday, March 24, 2008

I'm hoping to speak at. . . .

My proposal is written! I'm hoping that I'll be selected to speak at the 2008 WECA Early Childhood Conference. I'm hoping to present on the importance of play and the elementary school skills it helps to develop. I also want to discuss how teachers can support play within their classrooms. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

I'm planning on attending the 2008 Whitewater Early Childhood Conference and I'm hoping that I'll get to speak at this one next year. This year, they will be having lots of presentations regarding leadership and management. I'm hoping that these will be helpful as I get into the swing of things with my leadership role at work.

Speaking of work, things are going pretty well. I am so short teachers and hiring is a big priority right now. I'm having a tough time wrapping my mind around how to recruit staff other than the traditional methods. Advertisements are in the local papers, advertising up to 45 minutes away. I'm working to get into the local technical college to speak in some classes, but I'm not sure where else to go.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

The Power of Play

Play is important. I have known this in my heart from day one in my journey as a teacher. Now, finally, there is documentation and support for my "wacky" idea on the importance of play. Currently, NPR is doing a series on how play is important for building the skill of self-regulation, which is now being deemed a more important indicator of school success than IQ. A wonderful article about the connection between ADHD and self-regulation can be found at Sharp Brains.

There is an ever growing movement of Early Childhood Teachers fighting for play within their preschools and childcare centers. Lisa Murphy, the Ooey Gooey Lady, is one of them. I had the privilege of hearing her speak at the 2007 NAEYC National Conference and I will be looking for her at the 2008 conference!

The fight for play:
Einstein Never Used Flash Cards
The Power of Play
A Place of Our Own
Importance of Play
Alliance for Childhood
Young Children Need Play
Why Play?
Play is the Business of Kids
Are you giving your children the freedom to play?
The importance of FREE PLAY
More on play

Challening behavior

This was my first week at my new position. It went pretty well considering I managed to make some teachers feel threatened and upset. By the end of the week, it was all worked out and things should be fine at this point. The issue at hand was over challenging behavior and what to do with it.

My views are a little different than some regarding behavior. Most of my views about behavior stem from my work with children with Autism. While working on my teaching degree, I was NEVER taught how to proactively handle behavior that is out of the norm. I was taught how to react to this behavior but wasn't really taught how to "figure a kid out" and determine why he or she behaving in a disruptive manner.

This skill came with my work in two different programs for children with children with Autism. One program used lots of behavior modification techniques, however this program never worked to understand the function of the behavior. The other program I worked at used more of a Positive Behavior Support Method, which works to understand WHY the behavior is occurring in the first place.

Because I have had experience with both of these techniques, I feel uniquely qualified to handle a variety of situations regarding behavior. Unfortunately, the advice that I had to offer was not what the teachers wanted to hear. Part of this stemmed from the misunderstanding about how much classroom experience I had. Also, the teachers were not aware of my previous experiences working with children who were displaying "challenging" behavior.

Next week will be better!!!!!!!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Tomorrow is the big day!

Tomorrow is the first day with my new role as a Center Director. I'm a little nervous and a little excited at the same time. I'm counting down the days until I get to present at the Stout conference and I'm working on developing my own online course. Thanks for the tip, VP. Also, check out my other blog, Play for Life, to see some neat-o children's art work.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I'll be speaking at . . . . . . .

If you read my other blog, The Quest for Academia, you'll know that one of my big goals is start teaching at the higher education level. I'd like to start adjunct teaching while working and some day move into a university professor. Mind you, this is a VERY long term goal and it could be a long road to get their. Anyway, as I've begun this process of trying to get adjunct jobs, I'm being told that I need more experience teaching adults before I'll really be considered. I'm addressing this by trying to get as many speaking engagements as possible. I'm very pleased to announce that I'll be able to add a second speaking engagement to my resume finally. I'll be speaking at the 2008 Stout Early Childhood Conference on the topic of connecting parent's to their children's literacy skill development. I'll post and let you all know how it goes!

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Okay. . well, there have been some big changes

It's been awhile since I've posted and that's because there have been some big changes happening. I got a job offer and I've been trying to decide weather to accept or not because I've only been in my current position for six months. Today I've made the decision to accept and I'll speak with my employer on Monday about this matter.

The exciting thing is that I'll be moving into a director position at a center right in my own city. Currently I drive approximately 39 miles one way five days a week. That is a total of 390 miles per week and 1560 miles per month. I can get approximately 270 miles per tank of gas, so that is about six tanks of gas per month. Gas in Wisconsin is 3.08 per gallon and my tank holds about 12 gallons, so it costs me about 37.00 to fill my tank currently. By switching to my new job I will be saving a total of 222.00 per month--and that would be if my salary wasn't going to be higher (I will be paid about 1,500 more per year). This would be a great start to an emergency fund.

Anyway--that is the plan and for that reason, this blog will begin to take a new tone as I transition from my primary role being that of a teacher (and a supervisor and an administrator) to my only role being that of an administrator. Watch for changes soon.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Goals for school!

Well, it's six month review time and that means that it is time for me to think about my goals at Head Start. I have a few goals that I'd like document here so that I make sure that I REALLY follow through with them.

  1. I will provide my teacher assistants with at least one hour of additional training per month that relates to Creative Curriculum.
  2. I will provide the parents of my students with one special training this school year, in addition to the monthly center parent meetings that are regularly held.
  3. I will make sure that I follow up with families the following day if an incident report has been filed out regarding their child.
  4. I will work to obtain my Wisconsin Registry Administrator's Credential.
  5. I will work to bring the FISH! Philosophy to my coworkers, teacher assistants, and supervisor.
  6. I will utilize the Project Approach in it's entirety (not just bits and pieces as I am now).
  7. I will work to incorporate more Responsive Classroom approaches into daily classroom activities and life.
So, I ask you, as fellow teachers, what are your teacher goals of 2008?