So I have decided to switch jobs again. I really enjoy working at the real estate office, but my husband and I have started talking about having a little family of our own. At my current job, my hours are never predictable and some days I don't work at all, while other days I end up working 14 hours or something ridiculous like that. There were seriously days where I would start at 930 and not finish until 11pm at night. It took me awhile, but I decided that if I wanted to have a baby, the first thing I would have to do is get some kind of regular schedule going. So while I love the challenge of my job right now, I need something that fits a little nicer into my calender. Sooooo, I've decided to take a job at a preschool. I know. Me. Working at a preschool. If you'd asked me 5 years ago I would have said 'no way', but this recent trip back to Canada has made me realise I am ready for some little ones and the trouble they can come up with.
Now, not only will I be working at the preschool, I will be the head teacher. Its a new school and they need someone to write the curriculum and come up with some lesson plans for each thematic unit. The school opens in April but there is still alot of work to be done before that. So starting today, I will be working my little buns off writing lessons for 3-5 year olds. I am kind of looking forward to it, but I'm scared as hell too! I've never had a project this big before. I know the concepts and what I SHOULD be doing, but we'll see how it actually works in application! I've already themed the 12 months. So, now I just need a daily schedule (half done) and some lessons to teach. I also need to plan what supplies the school will need to buy and books etc. I have been researching online for materials and there's quite alot actually. I've found a couple of websites selling materials that I will recommend that my boss buys. On the plus side, he is not lacking in cash in any way, so there is no problems with startup costs. I just need to tell him what to buy. Mwa hahaha! The power!!! Just kidding - I'm actually crapping my pants as its all up to me to decide what these kids learn! Yikes! Any suggestions welcome!
The pay at this job is quite comparable to what Rich is making as well, so we will be pulling in a decent amount of cash for the next year or so as well. I'm hoping that we will make enough for us to save, and send back to Canada to save. Having a baby here can be a little costly at first as here you pay the hospital to have your baby there. But you can get the equivalent of maternity leave here in Japan as well, you just have to apply for the right insurance. So apply I will! Then I get paid for the next 12 months even if I can't work. Yah!
So here is what I have so far for Themes. Some of them may be unfamiliar as they are Japanese holidays.
Since we start in April, I thought we should start with
April - School Rules/About me
May - My Family (Mothers Day/Boys Day)
June - Summer/The Beach
July - Ocean animals - maybe an aquarium trip?
August - Obon (Fireworks)/Transportation
September - Fall/The weather
October - Halloween/?
November - Thanksgiving/Grandparents Day
December - Christmas/New Years - this month only has 2 weeks of class so I think this should be plenty
January - Winter Fun/?
February - Valentines/?
March - Spring (hanami)/Girls Day
I've also roughed out a schedule for the day based on what I remember of preschool, what I've researched about other schoolds and what I think would work as the lone teacher at a new school.
930-1000 Circle Time - all preschools here seem to have this. I think its basically a OK - adjustment to being at school time. Lets all relax and get into English time. Lets not be scared of the teacher and being away from your parents. Maybe we sing our ABC's. Play a little hokey pokey.
1000-1030 - Learning Activity/Game 1. I know 30 minutes is a long time, so I have to switch up the activities, but here is where I want to introduce our 'topic' or theme. I have to plan at least 2-3 things to do here.
1030-1045 - Snack time/toilet time! Kids get a quick break to charge their batteries and hit the toilet. Important I've heard.
1045-1115 - Learning Activity/Game 2. Review of what we just learned. Lets learn it again. A different way.
1115-1130 - Read a story. This was my favourite time of day when I went to kindergarden.
1130-1145 - Work books. I plan on having them do a little bit of colouring/writing everyday. For the really little ones, maybe just colouring in a picture of whatever vocab/letter we learned that day. The older ones can try and practice writing.
1145-1230 - Lunch! And of course the toilet. I will help them eat and they can play with their friends freely. Do whatever they want as long as they eat.
1230-100 - Take a quick nap. Hey, I know I'm cranky if I don't get a nap. Here the Japanese staff can help me out - and I can plan for the afternoon program.
100-230 - This will be our fun afternoon craft/activity/outing time. Could be finger painting, or maybe taking a short trip in the neighborhood. Longer outings will require special planning.
230-330 is my lunch. It will be more like daycare from this point on for the little kids. The short day finishes at 230 when their parents can pick them up. Or they can choose to stay until 530 where they receive just regular daycare.
330-530 - Elementary kids after school program. It will be like cram school.
Any suggestions? Improvements? Please let me know!