TerraNichol Academy of the Arts

Teaching Team Blog January 2016

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Letter to our teachers,

Teaching is one of the hardest jobs. It forces you each and every day to look at yourself, sometimes in ways that you wish you didn't have to. It forces you to challenge yourself physically, mentally and without a doubt emotionally. It drives you to be your absolute very best. As a teacher you must put aside all of yourself, any selfish thoughts, emotions, griefs, and feelings and look at each individual child putting each one first. It is a daunting task one that leaves you exhausted before you even begin. However all of this is worth doing if only for a day you inspire one child, make one child feel loved, help a child solve a problem, a booboo, or mend a sad heart with a hug. There isn't any day in Early Childhood Education that goes smoothly, or as planned, There will never be a day when all the students come together and all are on task, involved, and happily engaged. There will always be challenges that we must rise to the occasion, be the better person, and be our very best version of ourselves. This is our job because we have all those little faces relying on us. Let's remember to always give them something and someone to look up to!


The teaching team is required to sign and comment on blog that each member has read over the blog carefully, understands the documentation and will implement the changes, school polices throughout their scheduled day.

Security and Safety--Emergency Policies

It is the school's policy that only the administration team is to monitor the school campus, playscape fence exits or security front door. It is the teaching teams responsibility to report to the administration if they see or hear something suspicious on campus, unauthorized person or visitor on campus. The administration will buzz parents or authorized visitors to enter the campus. The school policy for administration handling unscheduled visitors, guests, or sales personnel, water delivery, handyman, etc. is as follows. The administration will always use the video voice security monitor to identify the person at the door. If they are not to be on campus administration will not allow the person to enter the campus. For example: A person selling cleaning products. There is no solicitation allowed on campus. They will be asked to kindly exit the campus. Any person posing a threat to the campus 911 will be called and we will follow the emergency plan and policy.


Authorized Pick Up members will be greeted by the video voice security monitor, will check ID, ID will be copied for student's records and will be asked to wait in the rock room. Administration will notify the teaching team member as to locate the status of the student's location for dismissal.


Under no circumstance is an Intern, Teaching team member to open the door especially with a student present with them. Under no circumstances is a teaching team member to open the door, buzz a person in or use the Video voice security monitor unless directed by an administration member. The person at the door can wait until an administrator can get to the video voice security monitor. SAFETY FIRST!


All teaching team members should study and memorize the Emergency polices and Emergency Codes. Emergency Codes are posted in all learning labs.


All polices are set in place for the students safety as well as the teaching team members.


All information pertaining to the safety of the students, unauthorized or authorized visitors or the campus status will be communicated over the two way radios. Teaching team members must respond immediately. Test radios, volume, know how to use them correctly and make sure you are responding clearly.


It is our job and duty to make sure our students are safe and secure on our campus.

Upcoming Events

Mark your calendars-Be Prepared

School photo day with Jennifer Arp

January 25th from 9:30-?

Jennifer Arp (Lucas's Mommy) will be taking school photos on Monday January 25th. She will be setting up on the Art Studio side. We will not be opening learning labs on this side during photos. She will be taking students to and from school photos. Not all students will be getting photos as she had a sign up at the beginning of the school year for interested families. All teaching team members needs to be aware that there is a guest and parent on campus on this day.


Onsite Pottery Workshop

Miss Mary from Open Studio will be on campus offering a pottery workshop on February 3rd, and February 17th from 11-12 for those students who signed up for extended activities at the beginning of the school year. Miss Mary will be setting up under the covered area on the white tables. She will be making clay masks with the students. She will work with younger students 11:00-11:15 first and then older students 11:15-12:00 in small groups. All teaching team members needs to be aware that there is a guest on campus on this day


Annual Friendship Dance

At TerraNichol Academy we do not celebrate Valentines day but throughout the month of February we do celebrate friendship. Students are encouraged to write friendship letters during writing workshops in place of bringing in Valentine's from home. We do not exchange any Valentines at school. To commemorate friendship we have a friendship dance on Friday February 12th. Students are encouraged to dress their best for the dance. Teachers should also plan on dressing for the occasion (school appropriate of course)

Getting on the Child's Level

Getting on the child's level is a sign of respect and interest in what the child is saying and the work that they are engaged in. All teachers should be at the child's level at all times. This means sitting at an empty seat nearby, getting down on a carpet to build or play, pulling up a stool or squatting next to them. Under no circumstances should a teacher hover over a child or stand with hands in pocket. Hovering can make some students anxious and standing with hands in pocket gives the impression of non involvement or disinterest. As a mentor I am often at a loss when I observe this because there is always so much to get involved in. As a teacher you also need to be totally aware of all that is going on. While working with one student always place your body so that you are still able to observe others around you. Also be aware of parents coming and going when involved in outdoor learning labs. It is also necessary not to get stuck. This means that you must continue to rotate from learning lab to learning lab. Here are some examples. In outdoor learning labs you may begin working with students on snowflake water colors, after a few minutes sharing ideas with the artist you then go and check in with the students working at the sensory tables. You sit make a latte with students and then excuse yourself to go explore with the students making snowman at the playdough sensory table. This constant rotation occurs all throughout the morning drop off process as well as when working with students in indoor learning labs.


On a side note when teachers are helping students with helmets station your body next to the bike path visible to the teaching team working up top on the playscape. This way you can be seen by teaching team members, students and parents. All students in preschool and pre-K should be hanging the helmets on the helmet stand. The Rubbermaid should be used by Nido students: Braxton, Landon, Easton, Xander, Ryder, Oscar, Jackson, Aubrey, Sammy


Be sure to follow through that students are always hanging their helmets up or putting them into the Rubbermaid as well as parking bikes and scooters along the fence. I have observed helmets laying all over the ground, the Rubbermaid overflowing, and scooters left scattered around the bike path on multiple occasions. All students are capable of parking and taking care of their helmets with follow through reminders by the teaching team.

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Daily Rhythm and Plan for the day

Each teaching team member should have a plan for the day and know the daily rhythm when taking a small group. Each day is different based on the each students needs. The teaching team will need to be flexible, retain the information their teaching team mentors relay to them about the day and events, and follow through with the plan, enrichments, literacy, or projects set fourth for the day, week or month.


Each teaching team member will set up their morning meeting,enrichment circle, art appreciation projects, or learning labs to provoke the students to engage and get involved in a learning lab.

For example:

Morning Meeting

Literacy

Poetry

Drama

Learning Labs- art projects, sensory activities, construction/blocking building skills, writing workshops, math/science or dramatic play.

Enrichments

Ending Meeting


Be aware of the time and when your group needs to be ready for dismissal to the playscape area, lunch, martial arts, gymnastics, early dismissal or VPK only dismissal.


Follow the webs, calendars, and enrichment calendar. All available in the curriculum book.

The mentors will inform you of any unexpected events, onsite visitors or special projects.

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Keeping on Track!

Terra and Michelle have worked hard to create many resources to benefit the teaching team in getting to know everyone's first and last name, parent names, spellings of names, schedules, and teacher responsibilities for everyday. Most of our students have been here since August with the exception of a few and the teaching team has had the documents since then to learn all of this information. At this point halfway through the school year there is no reason not to have a good understanding and this common knowledge of our students. I need for you to review the following this week and every day until you feel confident in the following information:

-Each students first and last name

-Parent names

-Who drops off and picks up most frequently for each student

-Each students daily schedule for example Jordon comes on M,T,W or Braxton attends on T,W,TH

-Each students program schedule for example Jackson part time 9 to 1pm or Emmagrace VPK only schedule 8:30-11:30


Review the following:

-Enrollment Sheet in Emergency book contains the following student names, student ages, students schedules and programs

-Emergency Contact Sheets in Emergency book contains the following parent names

-Allergy Lists in Emergency book contains the following any known allergies.


We have also updated the daily cleaning and organization chart. Please review and use EVERYDAY. Although you may feel that you are completing all your tasks each day many things are left undone. Using the chart will ensure that you are completing your daily responsibilities. For example Miss Michelle should not need to write file art or empty recycle bins, or fill cleaners as ALL of this is on the checklist. The Teaching team mentors will no longer be leaving notes unless it is outside the checklist.


Just a follow up please take care to clean sensory materials, art materials etc completely including scrubbing, rinsing and drying and placing back into the set up for the next day. Many times Miss Michelle goes to set back up materials and either cannot find them or they have not been cleaned appropriately. As you can imagine this is frustrating and their is often not time in the am to go back and clean it. The students suffer in these situations because the materials are not available to be used.


Under no circumstances should glass of any kind be placed on the top of the large outdoor cabinet. Miss Michelle went to pull down a basket and a glass gak jar came flying down. All glass sensory containers go into the large outdoor cabinet on the shelf labeled sensory materials for safety.

Parent Communication

Please direct all parent communication to the administration Miss Terra or Miss Michelle.

Some of the simplest questions can turn into miscommunication. Please do not ever use terms such as..

"I don't know"

"I'm not really sure"

If a parent approaches you please use statements such as:

"What a wonderful question for Miss Michelle or Miss Terra."

"I am engaged with the students at this moment I would suggest seeing Miss Terra or Miss Michelle." **Always radio administration to inform them you are sending a parent their way.**

"Can you please write Miss Terra and Miss Michelle a note in the parent book?"

" Can you please send your concern to Miss Terra and Michelle via email?" They will be happy to get back to you.


Every situation is different, and scenario is different use your best judgement and common sense. Even if you need a moment to retain information or comprehend the information.

Pause for a moment .. Hmm let's see then state your statement to the parent.


If students are breaking safety rules or policies with their parents with a teaching team present please reiterate the school safety rules or policies.


Examples: I heard your mommy say walking feet inside. Please use your listening ears and respect mommy's words. The school safety rule is we walk inside for your safety and friends safety.

I heard mommy say "Finn the computer is only for adults." You can check yourself in the attendance box while mommy check's you in on the adult computer.


We want to demonstrate we are professional early childhood educators.

Product verses Process-Art Appreciation

International Creativity Month

Let your child learn through exploratory art!

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New Incoming Students

We have possible three new students starting in the next few months.

Preschool and Pre-K students.

We will inform the teaching team once the admissions and parent interviews are completed.

Questions or Feedback

We expect you to have questions or feedback in regards to this teaching team communication blog. All questions or feedback should be posted here in the comment section not asked to a mentor throughout the day. We do need time to reflect and establish an insightful answer to be helpful. Thank you for posting all questions and comments or feedback in the comment section. A friendly reminder as we previously established to see the comments you must view the blog on a computer not a mobile device.


Also please refer to the statement above requesting that you sign in understanding that you have read, understand and will implement all that is included in this blog.

TerraNichol Academy of the Arts

TerraNichol Academy of The Arts School is the kind of school parents expect, educators celebrate and children adore. Our approach to learning celebrates the great potential of young children, with the goal of nurturing self-motivated, life-long learners. The learning labs are guided by our Master Teachers as well as the Founder of TerraNichol Academy of The Arts Preschool with low teacher-to-child ratio to allow for one-on-one engagement and thoughtful observation. Join our small community school for a backstage tour and be inspired by our thoughtful team of Early Childhood Educators here at TerraNichol Academy.