Kindergarten Teacher

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Kindergarten Teacher

Postby Charmaine_chong » Wed Apr 28, 2010 10:52 am

Anyone who is a teacher yourself in kindergarten school regardless in private, church or PCF?

I would like to hear experiences as a kindergarten teacher.

1. Any difficulites or challenge a teacher face in teaching a group of young children?
2. Prospect of a kindergarten teacher
3. Does kindergarten teacher has the freedom of using own ideas to teach? How is the system like?
4. What do you like most and least in this field?
5. What staff benefits a teacher entitled?
6. Daily working hours?
7. Any differences in teaching chinese and english?
8. Any programs or courses sponsored by school especially those in PCF? Full course fee borned by school?
9. Any other interesting experiences to share?

Thank you

Charmaine_chong
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Kindy Teacher

Postby Amberz » Tue May 04, 2010 11:20 am

Sounds like you are planning on a career switch? Well that is a lot of info you are seeking so I will start by giving you what I can as briefly as possible..you can ask further questions after that.

1. However experienced a teacher, there is always a challenge when it comes to working with kids. Whether or not these challenges are viewed as difficulties or how tough these difficulties are really depends on the individual teacher. Your stress can come from classroom management/crowd control, maintaining interest levels/participation, mediating squabbles etc.

2. To start you need training. Presch teaching is not simply ABC, 123 or just paints and glue. You need to learn about how children develop, how to plan age appropriate lessons and lots more. Assuming you have what it takes to stay in the field and the training to progress, then you can move from being a teaching aide > teacher > snr. teacher > asst. supervisor/vp > supervisor/principal > manager (usually for groups/chains) > director... Salary range depending on hours of work and experience can start from 800 - 2500 (above 3k if you are in an international sch but you need a related degree). I would say 1500 - 1800 is the average wage of most diploma trained teachers.

3. Kindergartens are governed by MOE and childcares by MCYS. Both have basic curriculum guidelines for schools to follow. Schools will then develop their own philosophies from there and program outlines. Depending on each school, some will give the teachers more say in terms of topics/themes right down to daily individual lessons, and some will have a program all planned out and all you have to do is follow accordingly. Some allow you to tweak plans to your liking and yet others are very rigid and insist you follow their plan to the letter.

4. I love working and being with kids. I love watching them discover something for the 1st time and I love the feeling of accomplishment when a child finally achieves his/her goals. I love getting messy with them and inspiring them to be the creative artist each and everyone of them is inside. I especially love the hugs I get from them and the pictures they draw of me! I love the appreciation in parents' eyes when I have helped and supported them with a difficult situation regarding their child and I love the feeling that I have made a difference in someone's life.

On the flip side, I HATE the politics and bitchiness that comes with an all female environment (not that men aren't equally bad sometimes). I especially dislike difficult and unreasonable parents who interfere to the extent that it makes your job difficult or prevents you from doing what is best/right for your class. I am hurt by parents who criticise the teacher or worse, their own children despite them having done their very best already. I dislike some of the policies that apply to the local schools (we can't have everything I guess) and I dislike the fact that we are so underpaid and seriously overworked.

5. Staff benefits will vary with each school. Childcares usually offer 14 days annual leave, some other child sick leave etc...some offer discounts for staff to place their kids in the same sch and yet others do not allow parents and their children in the same sch/branch. Some kindys will give you fully paid sch hols, some make you go back the entire hols but most will ask for at least a minimum no. of days for you to set up your class and to prep for the next term.

6. Anywhere from 4 - 9 hours.

7. Philosophies may be the same but each language may have teaching traits unique / necessary to that specific language.

8. Many courses out there run buy an uncountable number of private institutes but the most reliable (in my opinion) is SEED INSTITUTE (formerlly RTRC). They may have the toughest course program etc but you know you won't be "buying" your documentation, you'd really be learning/picking up skills. I took all my courses there from 1994 up till 2009. If the school sends you, you'll be bonded, average for a 2yr course is the same no. of yrs bond starting from graduation. You can avoid that by paying your own way or applying under NTUC funding whereby you only pay ard 20% of course fees, and you are not bonded. You do lose certain benefits if you do that but sometimes, no amount of money is worth being bonded to a place you wish to leave.

9. Oh I have been in the industry for a good 18yrs...I have MANY MANY stories to share but perhaps best left for other times.

I hope this is helpful to give you a headstart. Let me know if you want to find out more. I suggest volunteering at a school to get a taste of it before taking the plunge? :wink:

Amberz
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Postby daisyt » Tue May 04, 2010 11:47 am

Hi Amberz, from the SEEDS INSTITUTE website "Part-time students will have to find their own practicum centres (at registered childcare centres or kindergartens)when they have received the letter of acceptance from SEED Institute." Does that means one has to be already a teacher or going to be a teacher in the childcare centres or kindergartens? What happen if one is not in either cases?

daisyt
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Postby Charmaine_chong » Tue May 04, 2010 12:28 pm

Hi Amberz,

Thanks a lot for such a wonderful insight about a kinddy teacher. Appreciate it.

I guess this helps parents here to understand a teacher better rather simply channel all the responsibility to teacher. Honestly i was quite demanding and have high expection of a good teacher.

It is really not easy to be a good teacher as there are so many aspects to take care of, seems like a lot of sacrifice and stress, mostly from parents i guess. And i also agree teachers are not well paid for the efforts they put in.

I thought of switching career as i love to be with children since i have my own.

I enjoy every moment i have with my kids.

Would love to hear your teaching life stories. Haaa.

May i ask how to be a volunteer and where to get information?

Thanks

Charmaine_chong
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Postby Amberz » Tue May 04, 2010 3:18 pm

daisyt wrote:Hi Amberz, from the SEEDS INSTITUTE website "Part-time students will have to find their own practicum centres (at registered childcare centres or kindergartens)when they have received the letter of acceptance from SEED Institute." Does that means one has to be already a teacher or going to be a teacher in the childcare centres or kindergartens? What happen if one is not in either cases?


You either are already working full/part time at a school or you can approach a place of your choice and ask them if they will allow you to clock your hours and do your practicum (exam) there. Which basically means you spend 200hrs there attached to a class, you'll observe and learn from the teacher and later they will slowly give you little jobs to do so that when the time comes for your exam and you will have to plan and carry out lessons for the class, you will be prepared. The trainers at SEED will guide you through the process and if you feel 'lost' just ask your course manager - probably Su-Ann or Gina and they will advise you accordingly. There's always me too! :D

Amberz
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Postby Amberz » Tue May 04, 2010 3:27 pm

Hey Charmaine,

Well I have to say that I was probably one of those parents that other teachers hated because my expectations of them were as high as what I expect of myself with my students. Kinda makes me the parent from hell I guess. Unfortunately, good teachers are not falling from the sky and one of the gripes I have with the industry is the lack of good teachers. Some have the heart but OMG the English that comes out of their mouth is shocking! Others just don't have what it takes to do right by the kids. I was fortunate to have a great boss, now a really close friend, when my kids were in presch and I was able to have them in sch with me all day.

Haha, I wouldn't know where to begin but will post my little stories when something comes to mind. As for schools to volunteer in, most will only take you in if you are signed up for the course. Otherwise they won't entertain you. Which area do you live in? Maybe I can recommend any of my friend's schools.

Amberz
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