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Tips for Managing Your New Preschool Classroom

Posted On Jul 23, 2021

Every new teacher feels overwhelmed at the beginning of their career. In fact, even veteran teachers often feel nervous as they ready themselves for a new cohort of preschoolers. Approaching your classroom with organization, clear expectations, and an adaptable attitude can go a long way to setting you up for a successful career.

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Preschool classrooms are often quite chaotic with plenty of activity, color, and movement. To manage this chaos, your classroom needs to be strategically organized. Different parts of the room should be clearly marked with guidelines for each area. Art, reading, dramatic play, building areas, food, and more should all be differentiated, as well as labeled in child friendly ways with both pictures and text to facilitate easy clean up. When shelves and toys are labeled effectively, students can work on cleaning up as well as matching and early literacy skills. Separating the quiet areas from the social and noisy areas will also help classroom management. The areas should be simple and provide integrated learning to assist preschoolers in making connections that learning is happening all around them. 

Provide an Atmosphere of Comfort

While it is important for preschool teachers to manage their classroom with the impression of control and confidence, it is also important that the classroom feels warm and inviting. Children are very perceptive, and a teacher who is warm, caring, and comforting will often have greater control than a preschool teacher who rules with a no-nonsense attitude and rigid guidelines. When preschoolers are upset, they are often easier to manage with more comfort than consequences. While logical consequences are also important – if you can’t treat something correctly you lose the privilege to use it – treating children as individuals who need understanding will create a climate of children who want to please you.

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Plan for Transitions

Preschool teachers who struggle with management will often cite transitions as the moments where they lose control. One of the most important skills a preschool teacher needs is the ability to move these young children from one activity to the next. Teachers need to help the students feel prepared for the transition, as well as knowing how that transition will take place. Over time preschool teachers will develop a “bag of tricks” for transitions, but some ideas include a song when moving, a countdown, or a rhyme to get children invested in the movement. 

Be Adaptable

What works perfectly for one class may not work well for another group of preschool personalities. Your strategy for dealing with a difficult child may not work on every challenging child. It’s important for preschool teachers to be willing and able to adapt their strategies on the fly. In some cases, this may mean throwing out a planned activity to follow the natural interest of a class one day. Rather than fighting through an interesting distraction, own it as part of the learning experience. 

Stay Consistent

Routine is important for preschool children. They will feel more comfortable and in control when they know what to expect. Writing the day’s schedule with pictures can help children understand how the day will progress. Consistent rules for each station will provide clear expectations, and logical consequences will help preschoolers learn to make sense of a classroom. If the rules, expectations, or schedule are always in flux, preschoolers will often feel overwhelmed, leading to more management issues.

Growing with Your Class

Your first year as a preschool teacher will not be the best of your career. A good teacher will grow throughout their career as they gain experience, learn from their mistakes, and develop more strategies. As you progress in your career as a preschool teacher, you will have more creativity and learn to anticipate potential issues before you have to react to them. Networking with other teachers can help develop your “bag of tricks” as well.

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When you enjoy your job and manage your classroom with a positive attitude, your class will respond in kind. Teaching preschool is a busy and demanding job, but it is also full of fun and joy. When you approach your classroom with enthusiasm, your students will respond positively. If you’re interested in becoming a teacher, Athena Career Academy is a great place to start. Contact us today for more information about our accredited programs and caring staff and faculty.

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Athena Career Academy is accredited by the Commission of the Council on Occupational Education. The school is registered with the Ohio Board of Career Colleges and Schools; State of Ohio – School Registration Number – 10-09-1943T and operates under the authority of the Ohio Board of Nursing. Please contact the Student Operations Manager for more information.

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