I got to work as a kindergarten teacher at a summer school at my church, and it was one of the best experiences of my life. I have always loved children, especially kindergarten through second grade children, so I was very excited about my position. Of course, I was incredibly nervous on my first day of teaching.
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Nonetheless, my first day in the classroom went better than I expected. My job as their teacher was to teach them the alphabet, how to spell words, and simple math, like counting. Though the learning content was not difficult, coming up with six weeks worth of lesson plans was something that I had never done before.
This could be to do with difficulties in relation to other children or problems with schoolwork. A frequent reason given for school refusal is bullying. This needs to be takenseriously and explored, but it may not be the whole story.
If your child is reluctant to go to school, explore all the possibilities and discuss these with the school. It may take children some time to sort out their place amongst the others.
The child’s experience of primary school « Understanding Childhood
Children who have problematic relationships at home, for whatever reason, may not start out feeling confident in school. Jealousy at home may spill over into relationships with classmates.
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However, children who have felt highly competitive at home may find life easier at school amongst a mixed group of children and be able to create better relationships. The ups and downs of friendships may be painful for children, but most of them establish ways of relating to one another in a more or less harmonious way. These are amongst the most powerful experiences of childhood, outside the home.
As they move on to junior school, children tend to divide into same sex groups, often expressing some contempt for the other sex.
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This seems to be a preparation for adolescence — a way of establishing interests and attitudes appropriate to the culture of being a boy or a girl. Boys and girls will get together again in a few years time. Most children will settle in well amongst the others. If you think there is a problem, it is worth discussing this with the class teacher, sooner rather than later. Parents are often worried about bullying.
However, what feels like bullying to one child, may feel like just teasing to another. Children of different ages have a different understanding of being bullied.
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Younger children complain that any child who is nasty to them is bullying whilst older children tend to experience bullying as being on the receiving end of a more deliberate and targeted campaign by a particular child or children. Children who are insecure or disadvantaged in some way tend to be more vulnerable to being bullied.
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Children who have relatively secure relationships with adults and other children are usually able to enlist help in managing the situation, if another child or group of children is nasty to them. Until they find their way around a new girl or boy may go through a period when they feel picked on. However, some problems — including those which are racist in origin — do not go away so readily.
Children with a physical disability that marks out their difference may find themselves particularly at the mercy of bullies. Disabled children are immeasurably helped if those around them accept their disability and value their achievements. Children who bully are often not too different from those they pick on and have often been bullied themselves.
If bullying and bad relationships persist, parents and children should get together with the teachers to deal with the situation. What is helpful for children is to see adults, both parents and teachers, acting together to protect them. Children have to adjust to a range of new adults when they start school. Most children enjoy meeting different adults but are likely to feel more comfortable with some than with others. A child who is used to an easy-going or chaotic atmosphere at home, may well find a more structured class-room environment more difficult than a child from a home where boundaries are tighter.
Children who do not have fundamental problems with authority are likely to have both good and bad experiences with teachers over the years and find ways of managing and learning from the differences. However, a few children have ongoing problems with every teacher they meet and may have deeply rooted problems with authority.
If parents and teachers can think together, changes may then be made at home and at school. Get Access Get Access. Author links open overlay panel Julia Johnson Rothenberg. Abstract Memories of schooling are salient to the development and practice of teachers and can be avenues to understanding and insight. Recommended articles Citing articles 0.