Education, Uncategorized

Teaching Twosday: Developmentally Appropriate Practice

screenshot_2016-06-13-20-00-08-1.png

I don’t know who is responsible for coming up with this quote, but I love it.

I once attended a training in which the instructor asked us to close our eyes and pretend to be one of our students. He then asked the question – what is it like, from a child’s point of view, to spend a day in your classroom?

I really took this question to heart.

One of the things that is really important when working with children is being able to understand what is called “Developmentally Appropriate Practice,” or “DAP.” I find many times that teachers in preschool classrooms do not have a good understanding of what to expect from their students, and so they find themselves unnecessarily frustrated when their students do not (rather, cannot) comply with their instructions. Understanding DAP is so critical to making sure that your students have a good experience in your classroom.

I worked with a woman, recently, who tried to get all of her one year olds in a line before taking them outside. She wanted them to stand in one straight line, perfectly quiet and still, and she wanted them to walk – in absolute silence – from her classroom, down the hall, around the corner, outside, and up the sidewalk until they got to their playground. Once they were on the playground, she didn’t want them to climb, play in the dirt or the grass, or even scream! She would become so frustrated with them for not being able to meet her expectations, and sometimes the children wouldn’t get to go outside at all as punishment. Her students learned, from this experience, that they were not to be inquisitive, curious explorers, and instead had to walk on eggshells around her lest she take away their outside time. And she spent most of the day frustrated and angry – yelling at her kids for being unable to complete tasks for which they were not yet developmentally ready. She was eventually fired for losing her temper with a child.

When you are planning your lessons and trying to manage behavior in your classroom, it’s a good idea to have a realistic understanding of what to expect from your students.

By knowing what behaviors are within the range of typical development, you maximize the learning process and you have much better success managing your classroom. You no longer have to fight for control over your students. They will naturally do what they are wired to do, and the better you are at adjusting to their rhythms, the easier your day will be and the more they will learn.

 

General, Hobbies, Uncategorized

Back To The Gym…

20160613_184253.jpg

Mondays and Thursdays are my new gym days. My husband hangs out with the kiddo while I get to go work out in our community gym (which is pretty nice, by the way). Today was my first time heading in there, and man…

I do not know what I am doing.

I didn’t recognize most of the machines and felt like an absolute fool in there. At first that was okay because I was alone. Then, the “regulars” started flooding in and doing their thing. And I just kind of hung out in the corner, hoping no one noticed me trying to figure out what kind of machine I was using and how to use it. Also, I almost died on the treadmill.

After my near-death experience, I decided to get off the treadmill and try something else. So I went to a machine in which I pulled weights, using a triangular, elastic handle-bar. Afterward, I did a few sit ups, and finally to another machine that I couldn’t really figure out well enough to get anything out of it. I tried the spin bicycle, too. It was mostly an exploratory trip.

I’ve never really been a gym kind of girl. I always have liked going to classes and working out in groups. In fact, fitness is one of the only things that I like doing in a group. Working out alone is boring. But I went. I went to the gym. And I’ll keep going and eventually things will get better.

I look forward to progress.