Monday, September 3, 2012

Never a dull moment

I work at a preschool that is year-round.  I read the posts of a lot of teachers writing about their Back-To-School plans and routines.  I don't have back to school plans because I never left.

The past few weeks we've had relatively low attendance, what with people going on vacation and gearing up for going to The Big School.  This is a blessing because it allows the Year-Round teachers to spend a little time attempting to get themselves organized.  

On Thursday, I was able to make some progress on the closets.  I should have taken before photos.  Alas.  Let's just say that a lot of stuff ended up in the garbage. 

I pulled a lot of empty plastic bins out of the closets and lined them up in order to decide what was garbage, what just needed to be cleaned and what needed to be cleaned and used in the closet rather than out on the shelves. 

Cue sassy little girl, 4 going on 25. " Miss Janette, you're making a mess. "
Me : " I sure am.  Sometimes you need to make a bigger mess before you can put everything back in order. " 

I managed to corral the mess somewhat before I left for the day, thinking I'd get a lot done on Friday.  No such luck. 

Friday morning at 8am, I walked into total chaos - and not the fun kind.  Furniture dragged into the middle of the room, plaster or paint dust on EVERYTHING and headache inducing paint fumes.  Cracked the windows and planned to be nomadic for the day.  Thankfully, one of the other teachers offered us her room for the day.  Whew. That solved the problem for Friday, but Tuesday is bound to be an adventure. 

So while the rest of you teachers are experiencing the excitement of greeting your new class, I'll be the one dusting, moving furniture and attempting to put my room back together.  I'll be sending you good thoughts for a smooth first day - pls send me good thoughts for furniture moving minions, dust-bunny slaying magic and no asthma attacks.


miss janette

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Seriously, you haven't lived until you've witnessed your students dancing around to Kate Bush, IBlameCoco, The Comsat Angels and Amanda Palmer. 

"Oh miss janette, I like this song.  Dance with me? "

How could I resist?

Unfortunately, due to the fact that the music was being played by my iPad and I neglected to bring my camera, there is no photographic evidence of this. 

I used to post my classroom playlists elsewhere with the tag "anarchy in the pre-k "
If you have any songs you play for your kids (the ones you made or the ones you teach) that aren't expected children's songs, I'd love to know what they are.

Not sure if playing the Laibach cover of Warm Leatherette is appropriate for my crew, think I'll just go back to listening to that one without them. 


miss janette

Monday, August 27, 2012

Second week at the new school, second day putting out and introducing Montessori activities. 
Here, have some photos!

Feed The Monkey!

This lives on the Practical Life shelf.  Bowls are from Target, bananas are cut from felt, monkey mask downloaded from, trainer chopsticks from Pearl River Mart.  I cut a hole in a small plastic box lid and used packing tape to attach the monkey.   Children use the trainer chopsticks to transfer the bananas.  Once the bowl is empty, the child can move the box lid to the empty bowl and use it again or return it to the shelf. 

What will you wear?
 This lives on the History/Geography shelf.  It's a magnetic paper doll that I bought from a discount catalog (sorry, don't remember which one.) Children can dress the doll for the weather or we can use the doll to introduce weather and clothing related vocabulary. 

sweep the leaves, ladle the beans.
 These live on the Practical Life shelf.  Children use the silicone brush and mini shovel to sweep up the faux silk leaves.  I tend to switch the items to be swept seasonally - foam snowflakes in the winter, silk flowers in the spring, etc. Again with the bowls from Target.  The dried bean ladle activity uses the same bowls plus a gravy ladle purchased at a thrift store. 

I take mine very light, no sugar.
 Old stainless two-cup coffee pot re-purposed for a pouring activity, also lives on the Practical Life shelf.

My discount /secondhand store Montessori activities have been a big hit with this group so far. 
You don't have to spend a lot of money to get quality activities for your crew - you just need to have an eye for using things in a new way.


miss janette

Saturday, August 25, 2012


My name is miss janette. 
I've been blogging in other places for years but I've decided to put all my teaching posts here.
I've been teaching pre-k since 2005. 
I've been a substitute teacher in a special needs school, a workshop leader at a children's museum and a very short lived public school teacher.  I've got an NYS Professional Certification for Early Childhood, B - 2nd Grade and a Montessori Directress Certification.
I've recently changed schools and am helping my school transition to the Montessori method. 

The title of this blog is a nod to my DIY / Punk sensibilities.
I'm likely not what you'd expect from a pre-k teacher.
I wear a lot of black, I use alternative music in my classroom and I've got a weird sense of humor.

Teaching very young children is always an adventure - I'm never bored and I'm always pushing my own boundaries.

Join me!


miss janette