Apparently not every moment in preschool can be as joyous as that pictured above. The group’s highlight of Centers today was definitely the block center. A couple hours later, as I was helping the boys get their shoes on for Outside Time, the brawl erupted.
Yes, it was bound to happen, the first upset child, the arms thrown. They have been soo good their first week and a half, so I just didn’t expect it at the end of our third session…let alone while we were putting on shoes. And that was my downfall: a teacher should always be prepared for anything!
A couple of the boys had already got their shoes on, one was in the bathroom next to the entry, washing his hands, I was helping another with his tricky sandals. I could tell the boys that were ready really wanted to go outside, though I didn’t dare let them out without a teacher. If they could hold on a few more seconds…I asked them to stand by the door if they were ready, (trying to give them something to process and do as I was finishing the first sandal).
And here is the rundown: (keep in mind that everything happens within a 8’x8′ entry/mudroom and I am carrying the grower in my babyhawk in front of me) Kiddo #1 tried to open the door, Kiddo #2 told him to wait and stood in front of the door. Kiddo #2 starts crying. I turn and ask Kiddo #2 what is wrong. He tells me that Kiddo #1 hit him. I try to explain to Kiddo #1 that “we do not hit” and asked him to apologise to Kiddo #2. When he would not apologise, I asked if he would give Kiddo #2 a hug. I was receiving no response. At this point I thought it best to hurry and finish putting on kiddo #3’s sandals so they could get outside.
Kiddo #4 (who had been washing his hands) had joined us and wondered what had happened. He got his shoes on and I suggested the boys stand by the window instead. Kiddo #1 was still more interested in the front door and as he approached it, Kiddo #5 stood in front of him and yelled, “don’t hit my friend.” I’m not sure who hit who first. (I’m next to them, but I am down fastening the remaining sandal of Kiddo #3.) Nevertheless, there were arms flying, between both Kiddos #1 & #5. I pulled away Kiddo #5, as a whopper of a karate kick from Kiddo#1 struck Kiddo #5.
And where is my Lead Teacher you ask? Well, she’s on her cell phone. In a panic, I demanded that she get off her phone! So there you have it: The first brawl of the school year. Bound to happen you say? Well, I hope to be better prepared next time! My next point of action is to come up with a plan with all of the teachers in regards to discipline.
Obviously, one of my newest goals in the development category will be to make our preschool expectations, rules, and consequences clear and concise. Any suggestions?