How is preschool management important?

preschool-management

Managing a bunch of preschool kids is far from a piece of cake. Kids are raw at this time. Waiting to be shaped with the right information, values and education. And the onus of that, though it is on parents too, falls largely on the shoulders of preschool teachers. And that is you, our fellow friend.

You are the potter that shapes the clay into something beautiful. Which is quite the responsibility. One that can be made much easier with proper classroom management. But what is that and how can you practise it? Let us find out!

What is preschool management? 

The answer to your question of ‘ what is preschool management ’ is rather simple, though achieving it might not be all that easy. Anyway classroom management or preschool management is the use of a set of techniques to create a positive, nurturing, re-affirming and structured code in the classroom that helps you and your kids function in the most productive classroom environment.

From creating routines to managing behaviour and using visual aids or setting class rules and routines, all of it comes under the purview of preschool management. Planning every school day effectively is the key to success in classroom management. Something we realise can be difficult to do, which is why we have a list of preschool management ideas and strategies lined up just for you.

Preschool management strategies and techniques that work

There are so many tips and tricks to put into place effective preschool management, and we thought we would share the ones we have tried and tested with you! These are bound to set you up for success, trust us on that.

  1. Implementing a behaviour management system
  2. Preschool is the first time ever kids step into a classroom. Most of them anyway. This first-time experience can be extremely overwhelming for little ones, which can lead them to act out. However, you can set expectations of age appropriate behaviour in a classroom with the help of red and green cards.

    Put a set of green and red flash cards in your classroom’s notice board, and add choices denoting acceptable and unacceptable behaviour in each card. The green cards will signal good behaviour with a visual attached to it, and the red cards will similarly list unacceptable behaviours.

    Examples include washing your hands, closing the tap, being polite, etc. for the green cards. While for the red ones, you could list the opposites of what is on the green card. When kids realise they have the choice to behave a certain way, they will gravitate towards behaving right.

  3. Creating a welcoming environment
  4. Next on our list of effective preschool management plan is creating a safe and supportive classroom environment. Something you can do by developing independence and social skills amongst your students. Which, in turn, can be achieved through the kind of activities you conduct in your classroom.

    Let the activity shelves in your classroom be culturally diverse, engaging and interesting for your kids. They should want to independently explore all the activities your classroom has to offer! So do not keep it too cluttered as that can be distracting, but go down the ‘less is more’ way instead.

    Spread out your activity bins and fill them half the way up instead of to the brim. Not only will that make clean-up easier but it will also make the set up less overwhelming for kids, thus encouraging them to be more exploratory.

  5. Use as many visuals and charts as you can
  6. This is a preschool management idea that works simply because visuals make it so much easier for kids to grasp the instructions you have laid out for them. Plus, routine charts with visuals bring kids comfort because they thrive on routine too, just like us adults!

    Knowing what is about to happen when and the kind of behaviour that is expected in each routine block helps kids get into a rhythm. A rhythm they can predict and feel less overwhelmed by. You can even set up classroom routines for other activities such as a washroom break, handwashing, recess etc. Just to reinforce good behaviour.

    Try to keep your daily schedule visual though because like we said, the predictability helps kids feel safe. They get a sense of security, which helps them get accustomed to the classroom environment without throwing tantrums.

  7. Structure your circle times
  8. Circle time or basically any of the two or three times in a day your kids gather around for an interactive session can be a tricky time. Kids might not know where to sit, how to behave or understand the concept of personal space.

    However, you can help them learn these things by marking where each student is supposed to sit with coloured strings or tapes. Make a grid with any of these on your carpet and teach kids to sit within their squares. That will help them understand the concept of personal space.

  9. Organise waiting lines
  10. Waiting lines for the washroom or filling water bottles are often overlooked during preschool management. But we think making lines with colourful tapes where students can line up to wait can be instrumental in structuring what could be a chaotic time.

    When students can actually where they are supposed to stand, they are more likely to maintain the order, thus not causing any trouble. However, waiting lines can be long and children at that age often do not have much patience. Our fix is placing sensory bottles along the waiting line so kids have something constructive to do while they wait.

  11. Set routines
  12. At the risk of repeating ourselves, we think this is one preschool management strategy that is absolutely crucial. Routines are like a security blanket for kids. They give them emotional support and reduce anxiety by adding a sense of predictability and comfort to their day.

    Your classroom routine should explicitly spell out with the help of visuals what kids are supposed to do when and how. This helps set clear expectations for the whole day, thus easily getting kids into the rhythm of things. Which is why we strongly suggest establishing routine within the first month of preschool itself.

    Keep your daily routines clear and developmentally appropriate with room for flexibility so you can keep changing them as your students learn to get accustomed to a classroom environment.

  13. Make clean-up time fun
  14. Clean-up can be so boring for kids! Heck, it is boring for most adults too so you can only imagine how kids will respond to cleaning up. Which is what brings us to the next step in our preschool management plan – making clean-up fun!

    Set up cleaning time to high tempo music that your kids love. As they sing along and clean up the room, they would actually start enjoying this chore rather than resenting it. Music will also help them work faster, and at the end of clean-up set some time apart for a mini dancing session. Like a little treat!

  15. Teach kids how to solve problems
  16. One of the preschool management techniques we strongly advocate is teaching kids problem-solving. You can start introducing this around the second month of preschool once kids have eased into the classroom set-up.

    Try to teach your kids a new problem-solving technique every week or so based on the kind of problems your kids are facing in the classroom. It is important for the techniques to be relevant otherwise they will not be of any use to children. Try to represent the techniques as visually as possible so kids really understand them. Maybe you could use sock bunnies and play act a situation which calls for the solution of a problem.

    Always talk your kids through their problems, even if it means spending a few extra minutes of class time in sorting out issues your kids face.

  17. Create a safe space
  18. Your classroom should have a wind-down corner where kids can go and seek refuge in every time things get a bit too much. Whether they get angry, sad or feel overwhelmed or tired, they should have a corner they can curl up in to feel calm. Remember to keep this space separate from the time-out zone as you do not want any negative associations with safe space.

    As part of our preschool management strategies, we like to create a quiet corner in the classroom with softer lighting, books and a comfy chair where kids can take a little break whenever they feel stressed in any way.

  19. Ensure lessons are age appropriate
  20. Finally, always keep your planned lessons and activities age appropriate for your kids. Difficult lessons will not yield fruitful results as kids will lose interest soon if things are too hard. But they should not be too easy either as then kids will get distracted easily. So the key is to keep the lessons challenging enough so kids would actively want to engage. Also, do not forget to make lessons and activities sensory, hands-on  and fun!

    We discussed a lot of preschool management techniques today and we hope these come in handy in your classroom! We know how challenging it can be to handle a bunch of preschoolers. Shaping young minds for the better is no easy task so we are happy to help as much as we can. For more such interesting blogs, visit EuroKids.