Octopus Mom

Life as a mom who has her hands full

Sitting Still in Circle Time & the 3 year old Boy

Does your son (or daughter) wiggle and squirm through circle time? Does he run circles around the others during circle time? Well you are not alone. Many parents loose sleep every night trying to come up with ways to help their child SIT STILL in Circle Time. In fact, Circle Time has become the dreaded “C” word in our house. From the moment my son started preschool we have heard it over and over again. “He just doesn’t want to sit in circle time”. “He had trouble in circle time today”..etc. My question for you and all the preschool teachers out there is…”so what!”



If an 8 year old can’t sit still in a circle, OKay you got me..there might be a problem. BUT, a 3 or 4 year old boy who just wants to play and have fun…not so much. I know, I know I am going to get comments galore about how kids need to be able to sit still in Kindergarten and signs of not being able to sit still are attributed to ADHD…but put away the poison Kool-aid ladies. We have to look closer at what we are really expecting of our young children and if we are putting too much pressure on them to “grow up” too fast.

I remember a time when Kindergarten WAS the equivalent of what Preschool is now. Kids fingerpainted, learned ABC’s and LEARNED to sit at desks and in circle time. Now, we expect our 3 year olds to sit still during circle time and SHARE with the others. When they don’t we begin to get nervous…convinced they need special help, early intervention, and even DREADED MEDICATIONS.

NO 3-4 year old should be diagnosed with ADHD…Recommended ages for diagnosis are between 6-12. Most little boys especially are simply socially immature. While their female counterparts are willing and eager to sit still and TALK for 10-15 minutes, these little boys have thousands of years of evolution working against them and tugging at their “inner caveman”. They want to run, jump, climb trees, and PLAY.

I am just a little leary of any school system that expects little boys and girls to act years older than they really are. Maybe instead of changing the children…we need to change our school system and we expect of them.

If you like my blog….check out my new parenting website…www.octopusmom.com


36 comments on “Sitting Still in Circle Time & the 3 year old Boy

  1. Ericka
    September 15, 2008

    Hey there: just wanted to say Thank You for writing this. I am a mom of a 4 yo boy that just started Preschool this year and we’re having notes coming home on his calendar almost every day. At first, I was on the verge of tears from not underdstanding his bad behavior at school but after reading several online sources, stories from other parents and educators that have found a link I am able to handle it much better. I highly recommend “The Minds of Boys” and The Trouble with Boys” as helpful resources for other moms/parents of …ahem…”energetic” little boys.

    • Stephanie
      May 2, 2011

      I am an ECE at a preschool and I do circle time almost every day (alternate with my assistant teacher) and we have 2-4 yr olds mixed in my group. We have circle time anywhere from 15-35 minutes. They all stay seated for the most part listen and all participate. Want to know what my secret is?!?! I do what THEY want! Yes we do ABC’s and calender and sign language, but we also do dancing, and fun songs, etc. I ask them what THEY want too do. This is huge to keep them engaged. I think before alot of teachers blame the children for not sitting still, hey may need to stop and evaluate what they are doing in circle time! =)

  2. sheila
    September 22, 2008

    thank you moms! My 3 year old and youngest son of 4 kids just started preschool this week, and I am on the verge of tears thinking there is something wrong (adhd, etc.) because he can’t sit still for circle time. (today he was doing somersaults into the circle of kids!) The teacher took him and another child who was having a tough time out to run around in a larger indoor playspace. I was grateful for that, rather than have him sit at a table by himself – I want him to enjoy school and not feel isolated or punished because he can’t sit just yet. This is his first experience at school and I’m hoping he’ll fall into the routine soon. He’s always had so much freedom being home with me, so I think the routine may be a little bit of a shock to him ( I think it will be very good for him). Any advice on things we can do at home to encourage following the routine at school (we have a bedtime routine for evenings), and at what point would you feel that a particular school may not be the best fit for a child? Thanks for your advice!

  3. Ann
    October 21, 2008

    Thank you, thank you! You hit the nail on the head with this. I have an energetic, 100% boy who wants to play and be a boy. When he started preschool this last fall, I was told he wasn’t participating in circle time activities. And, I was also told he should be able to color for the entire blocked out ime which is 15-20 minutes. Ha! My son will color, but not that long every time! We are expecting way too much for these boys that are normal in wanting to explore their worlds. Thank you for your insight and advice!

  4. Kate
    October 22, 2008

    All I can say is thank you! I was feeling pretty hopeless tonight and tired of all the negative feedback from my 3 year old son’s preschool and you gave me hope!

  5. Kris
    November 4, 2008

    As a preschool teacher, I agree that a three-year-old should not be expected to sit for too long . The problem is that when the other 9 students are sitting and trying to listen and participate, the distruptive one unfairly ruins it for everyone. I am not sure what the right answer is.

    • Bob
      December 12, 2012

      How about letting him play off circle for part of the time.Expecting two and three year old energetic boys to become docile for unrealistic periods of time is misguided.Why is circle time a must in the first place for two to three year olds?

  6. donna
    December 19, 2008

    BRAVO! I am a 4 year old kindergarden teacher who fully believes children — yes 4 year olds — NEED to PLAY — PLAY is their WORK! Circle time is not a future indicator of school success! Preschool is NOT bootcamp for kindergarten so let’s treat 3 and 4 year olds like 3 and 4 year olds instead of trying to make them into kindergarteners! Yes by the end of 4K I expect the kids to be able to listen to sit for short periods of time and to be on task and generally speaking they can! There are a few exceptions but overall they are able to sit and attend! And Hats off to Developmentally Appropriate Practices!!

  7. Jen
    January 22, 2009

    I’m grateful to have found this site. I have a 3 and a half yr old little boy who is having trouble sitting during circle time. My son is currently potty trained but during enrollment of preschool he was not…so I had to sign him up for the 2yr old class. Which is frustrating, when he had just turned 3 I had asked his doctor about potty training and he encouraged me to not pressure my child that he would learn in his own time. Then two months later; when I signed him up for preshool their was all this pressure for him to be potty trained due to them not accepting pull-ups (I think thats crazy). Anyway…I’m not sure if he’s bored or what. I watch him w/other 3yr olds and he there is not difference. If he’s w/older kids then he acts like them. I know my child displays normal behavior for his age, but it’s very discouraging trying to make him act like an adult, when he’s only 3.

  8. Jen
    January 22, 2009

    I’m grateful to have found this site. I have a 3 and a half yr old little boy who is having trouble sitting during circle time. My son is currently potty trained but during enrollment of preschool he was not…so I had to sign him up for the 2yr old class. Which is frustrating, when he had just turned 3 I had asked his doctor about potty training and he encouraged me to not pressure my child that he would learn in his own time. Then two months later; when I signed him up for preshool their was all this pressure for him to be potty trained due to them not accepting pull-ups (I think thats crazy). Anyway…I’m not sure if he’s bored or what. I watch him w/other 3yr olds and there is not difference. If he’s w/older kids then he acts like them. I know my child displays normal behavior for his age, but it’s very discouraging trying to make him act like an adult, when he’s only 3.

  9. Meg
    September 27, 2009

    Interesting how we accept our kids as being ‘bored’ when they are unable to follow directions and do what is being asked of them.

    • BriAnne
      April 28, 2011

      Funny how people expect young children to ignore their instinct and natural desire to learn through play!

  10. Lisa
    October 9, 2009

    Hi all. So great to read all the comments. My 3yr old son is also having problems at preschool as well. He was in a program last year (1.5 hours 2x a week) and never a negative comment. But, this year (different school), each day that I pick him up, the teacher will say … didn’t sit in circle time, running in class, says no when one of the teachers asks him to do something (he apparently spilled the drink on purpose the other day). She says that he is very bright just is “disruptive” to the other kids. Or that he will “follow” the other kids if they run around, etc. She suggested today that I consider having him evaluated for “behavior issues”. Today he actually pulled his pants down in class and grabbed his genitals. He does not do any of this behavior at home. I’ve been practicing circle time at home and even bought several books about preschool (Maisy goes to preschool etc). The thing is, the teacher never says, well since he wasn’t sitting in circle, I allowed him to sit quietly with a book or I gave him this other activity. Instead, it appears that he is put in time out (and won’t sit there either — at home circle time is for extreme behavior, i.e. hits his siblings, etc). I’m just at a loss for what to do next. This is a well regarded school and it is not cheap. If there is an issue and he should be evaluated, then I don’t want to delay. But, I also feel as though he may be acting out since he is not comfortable in class. Any suggestions on how to approach teacher and deal with these issue are greatly appreciated.

    • Marisa
      January 7, 2010


      After reading your post I feel like I wrote it myself! I have been having the same experience with my son within the past week. I actually pulled in out of his former preschool before Christmas because I was not happy with the behaviors he was learning the other kids (i.e. pulling down his pants, hitting, wrestling). He would come home and then teach these things to his 2 year old sister. He loved the school and did fairly well after the first two weeks of learning about circe time and sitting.I was paying an arm and a leg for that program as well. I was able to find one opening available in a very structured Catholic pre-k program in and thought it would be good to put him in a better environment.

      Well if he can transition before he get kicked out I will be thrilled. He has been there for 4 long days now and all I hear each day is that he is running away and not listening, hiding and saying “no” constantly. He even ran into the kitchen at the convenant when the nuns were having lunch! I hope that this will subside and maybe he is just overwhelmed and missing his old school.

      I am hoping since you posted this two months ago, you are two months ahead of me and could give me some suggestions or peace of mind!


      • Colleen Cook
        June 10, 2012

        I am not really sure which comment to reply back to, but I own and run a daycare for the past 7 years. I also teach, usually VPK but I am doing the 3 year old class this year and taught 3’s the first 3 years my school was open. 3’s are a unique challenge for a teacher. They are not two and as such, we are expected to increase their attention span, however, they are not 4 either, and some 4’s are not as developmentally advanced as is the expected norm either. It is my opinion, that you are all right, even the one that stated how some parents believe when their child doesn’t meet the expectations of a pre-school classroom they think they are bored. Even though this was stated a little sarcastically, their are many parents that believe this, and 9 times out of 10, they are right, but typically, it is not because they are too advanced, but that the presentation of the material is boring to them. 3’s, yes mom’s, especially boys ( I have three grown children of my own, 2 girls and one boy) need activity. The only reason I found this sight is because I was looking for new ideas to keep these guys in check, still teach them something that prepares them for their next year, is fun, and little by little, increases their attention span but is presented with developmentally appropriate practices. I just came from a training put on by the Florida board of education and they straight out told us that 3 we need to get with our 3 year old teachers and make sure they are teaching them how to listen. That today’s preschool programs are yesterday’s kindergarten and kindergarten is now equivalent to 1st grade. Oh, but we are supposed to make it fun. This is not a simple task parents and I must admit, I have my days, where I become one of the teachers you are complaining about because you get frustrated. The bottom line is we all need to work together to educate our kids. I am not here to say where the break down occurs, I am here to say that an early childhood education, whether presented by the parents, or at a school like mine, does or at least can change the future value of your child’s education. It gives them a headstart if you will. Teachers just really have to work together to come up with ideas, that keep the atmosphere, light, fun, with realistic expectations, and look to our own presentation of materials as a problem in most cases, rather than their being a problem with the child. Teachers need to reach out to others, because we have all been there and need to vent to each other, (without mentioning names) because we all deal with the same issues, and look for solutions, rather than labeling or calling names. Parents, don’t get upset, just recognize that most teachers really work hard, and when they are letting you know about the problems they are occuring, do your best to not get defensive or upset, but recognize that your child needs your help and so does this teacher, and look for ideas that might help keep the child engaged and make their early childhood experience fun.

  11. Carrie
    November 12, 2009

    I’m so happy to find this. My 2.5 year old has trouble sitting in circle time. It has kept me up at night: what am I doing wrong? How can I help? I was also thinking, “He can’t be the only child that won’t sit in circle time.” While I do understand that his wanting to run around and not sit down can disrupt the class, it’s good to remember that he is just 2. Thank you!

  12. AJ
    January 4, 2010

    Oh My God! Thank you so much for writing this. You have completely lifted my spirits. I was beginning to feel like the only mom in the world who’s 3 year old wouldn’t sit still during circle time at school. Or atleast that’s how the preschool made me feel – I pulled him out. Everyday when I would go to pick him up I would get his teacher with look on her face saying “we had a rough day today”. I say get back to basics people and stop expecting so much from the little people of the world!

  13. Lisa
    August 28, 2010

    Hi–I am writing in reference to the mom upset about her 3 yr. old not sitting at Circle Time. I am a preschool teacher and I TEACH my 3 yr olds how to sit at circle time. The key word here is teach–that is a positive thing. It may take a lot of role modeling for a child who has trouble sitting, help from the parents and positive rewards when they do it–and it does take time but a teacher should work on this all year and expect the same thing from every child. If one day the teacher let him run around without trying to get him to sit and then the next day she expected him to stay then a child will get mixed messages. Consistency is the key. I don’t think because a preschool teacher is doing “her job” that she is being hard on your child. If you worked in a classroom then you would have a different opinion. Children should begin to understand what school is from the time they start a preschool program. Preschool is not a play group or daycare so there are different expectations. A child should be taught from the time he starts school what is expected of him–this is not just about your child anymore–he is in a room with other children so different expectations are required for everyone to be able to play and learn together. If I let all 10 of my children run around at circle time–I wouldn’t have one and the room would become chaotic. I myself would not be able to play fun games and teach the children different skills at this important time of the day if I just let the children do this. As a teacher it is my job to consistently work with any child–in a positive manner–to get him/her to sit at circle time and guess what?– all my three olds can do it. It takes some longer than others but when they are able sit at circle time they have such great experiences with the other children and teachers. They learn different skills in a fun way and they learn that they like the games the teacher has set up for them to do. If I didn’t teach my 3 yr.old this impt. skill then they will go into there 4 yr. old class the following year and act the same way. In the 4 yr old class we learn to write our names and form the letters of the alphabet ect.. and many parents want this for their children because of the higher standards Kindergartens have now a days. The children need to be ready–these higher expectation are not a preschool teachers fault–it is today’s society–but we have to make sure our children are ready for the next step. If you can’t teach a child to start to try and sit still at 3 yr old –how are they going to learn to sit still and write there name ect. the following year. I am sure as a mother there are certain behaviors you expect from your son at 3 that you might not for 1 or 2 year old–well this is how you have to think about it from a teachers perspective and one behavior we start to teach 3 year olds is to sit for small periods of time. Children thrive on structure and routine–I see it everyday and I believe in it. Be positive about circle time to your son and embrace the teacher who is teaching him this life long skill that he will need in school for the rest of his school years. We have a job and it is hard for teachers because many parents think they know our job and believe me run a class and plan activities and do it with 10 or more children and you will have a new found respect for teachers at all levels. Children need to know what is expected from them from the beginning that does not mean that is is not fun learning for children at this age. Children need to know early on how to interact and respect others in a school setting. We know as parents how hard it is when one of our children gets in a habit of doing something–example–coming in our room at night to sleep—how hard it is to break a child’s habit–well a habit often times for young children is a learned behavior. We as parents let it go because we will deal with it another time or they little ect…then we kick ourselves because they expect this habit to keep happening. We as preschool teachers cannot allow our children to create these habits–they will become more frustrated and will have a harder time in years to come. I hope this helped you to possibly view this situation in a different way.

    • Dianne
      February 20, 2011

      I agree that children should be taught and yes that is the teacher’s job. I myself am a teacher of elementary school children. However, as the parent of 2 very different children, one that is 6 and one that is almost 4 and a boy, I can tell you that sometimes it is hard for a child to sit still. I also beleive that sometimes preschools forget that some of what they are asking our little people to do is completely age inappropriate. Children will have from kindergarten through 12th grade to sit at a desk although hopefully they get some teachers who make it fun. The problem with so many is that in preschool we forget that they learn through play and while their behavior may not always be acceptable they are 3 and 4 year olds so it is understandable. As a parent I have realized how demoralizing it can be to hear everyday that your child has done something wrong. I too have see that same look and shake of the head when I ask how was he today? I parented both children the same but both do not learn the same. Just like I am a visual learner someone else may be an auditory learner. Many little boys are kinesthetic learners and like to move around….is there times when they need to sit still?? Of course but be reasonable with what you ask and remember that the parent on the other side of the door loves that child and that what you tell us about them can sting more than you know.

  14. Mary Toso
    September 13, 2010

    I appreciate this too. However, the behaviors are such a concern that I would want to pull my child home. I hope you are finding the right situation/place/help. It is hard to tell what is best because behaviors can be hard to sort out too as to why this or that when they can’t communicate well yet, and might struggle to even if it were easier due to adjustments or situations they are in. Just hope they will feel safe no matter what first of all, and cared for.

    That said, my daughter, yes a girl, had some of the same difficulties at times, and I did take her to someone who hesitantly labeled her PDD (Autism Spectrum) somewhere, but was feeling she was doing well considering. She still has symptoms, though so high functioning that she was pulled from having IEP in 2nd grade and always mainstreamed with support that was minimal or Para in room, dividing attention to child who needed more help. They really didn’t do much to support her high functioning or encourage full diagnosis due to how well she seemed to do academically. Now she is 11 and still has needs and so it can be girls too. And it can definitely mean something. Her brother has had ADHD symptoms. Though I think lack of confidence happening through early pressures can actually contribute for them, and hope you can find the right place. Feel that really matters. But early diagnosis and help is best if ASD.

  15. FSL
    September 24, 2010

    My son is 3 1/2. I have been looking for pre-school for him. So far, 3 pre-school rejected his application just because he failed in his trial day – not able to sit on any circle time, story time or music time…. I just got a call from BSF children program to complaint the same thing. I cried and cried. Not sure what to do. Cannot take the feeling that my son, just 3 1/2, has been rejected by school.

  16. MommyCool
    December 10, 2010

    I have a 3 years old with the same “problem” won’t sit in a circle issue that is going to be evaluated. I do feel they expect to much from a 3 years old in preschool. I wish I could find a system that let the kids stay kids and play and not trying to make them little adults. it’s amazing how this option exsist in other contries but very rare to find in ny. if anyone knows about alternatives and would like to share’ I will be happy to hear about it.

  17. B Leigh Robbins
    February 14, 2011

    I agree with much of what has been said on all accounts. We do sometimes expect too much from children, and we can, as preschool teachers help children learn new skills, such as sitting at a circle time. It’s not essential for future development, but neither is it harmful.

    The one comment that concerns me, is the one in the opening by octopus mom:
    “When they don’t we begin to get nervous…convinced they need special help, early intervention, and even DREADED MEDICATIONS… NO 3-4 year old should be diagnosed with ADHD…Recommended ages for diagnosis are between 6-12. Most little boys especially are simply socially immature. ”

    I agree that medication should not the first response to an active child of either gender. Some children are more active and that is fine. Young children should, though, be able to control their behavior, and if that is a problem, then remedies should be taken. Those can be as simple as getting suggestions for parenting, or they can include having a child evaluated for early intervention services. I am concerned that this was minimized by your comments.

    Bringing a child in for an evaluation can be a difficult step for a parent, one that is overly stigmatized. Families in need of services shouldn’t feel bad about it.

    Our brains and bodies come in all different styles of functioning. Some children have great difficulty controlling their behavior and it can be due to the different functioning of their brains.
    School-age children with significant AD/HD were preschoolers once and they were not easy to parent or teach. It’s not simply because they are normal active boys. They are children with significant issues that needn’t be dismissed. It’s good to remember that there are those children outside the “normal range” who do need intervention services to be more successful in life.
    Thanks – B

  18. tasha
    August 25, 2011

    If your 3 or 4 year old can’t sit still and you want him to run and play all day, why is he in pre-school? Pre-school is part of school. Perhaps you should do some home activities and wait for kindregarten. There are other children in the class who want to sit still and listen and participate. Pre-school is not manditory and is not for everyone.

    • Bob
      December 12, 2012

      Tasha..lighten up.

      • maria
        January 18, 2013

        3 and 4 year olds are a far cry from being in kindergarten. Developmentally, 1 year can make a world’s difference. Comments like that are the ones that damage the fundamentals of learning and education.

  19. Stacy
    September 14, 2011

    I am so grateful for your post. Tears swelled my eyes as I pick up my 3 yr old son today, its his first day for preschool and he had difficulty staying on task. The teacher said he wanted to just play with trucks. He didn’t do well with play doh or puzzles. I am so devastated. Somehow I felt I failed him as a mom and reading your post helped a lot. So many times I feel that teachers are expecting too much from our children. Some of these children did not have a routine of coloring, circle time, e.t.c and the transition to a scheduled environment is difficult. Its great to know that I am not alone, but that other parents are experiencing the same problems. Thanks-Stacy

  20. Andrea
    October 23, 2011

    Hi everyone…again, thank you for all your comments, it IS good to know you are not alone.
    My 3-year-old daughter is not in preschool, but she is in gymnastics and was in a music class that had a circle time. She would not sit for the circle time and was asked to step out of the class twice, and just yesterday she would not wait her turn in gymnastics and so was asked to leave as well. I am really worried that this will translate to preschool next year.

    I am taking action. Besides doing research (and finding this post), I am also going to try turning off the TV at night and practicing sitting still for increased periods of time at home. The TV has been off all weekend so far, and my daughter has chosen to look at books, color, draw, or play with a quiet toy…each for 10-15 minutes at a time. She has never done that before. So I guess the key here is to just try something, see if it works, then if it doesn’t work, try something else.

    I too am a teacher (high school), and I see the logical end to attention deficits in school. Their performance does definitely decrease. So I am not blaming her programs, or her teachers, or even myself. To ask young children to sit still IS developmentally inappropriate, but it is the educational reality our children are facing, so to me, it does nothing to blame, or worry; it just means you have to accept it and take action.

  21. Leigh
    October 31, 2011

    Thank you for the post. All children are different and I get so upset to see some kids sit for circle time while my son is running around causing choas! I agree we are putting too much pressure on our 3-4 year olds. All they want to do is play.

  22. Pinky
    January 23, 2012

    I’m so glad that i’m not alone too. My kid had just started his preschool for about a week and he just turned 3. The teachers started to complaint about his behaviour and even requested me to sit in as a teacher helper after 4 days of school. They wanted me to take my son for evaluation and judged my kid had behavior boundaries disabilities. I was so sad about that. They said he can’t sit still in the class and had difficulty completing his task. He even playing with water and had difficulty of feeding himself during snack. My kid had not much exposure before he turned 3. He is the only child at home and never had chance to interact with kids, he had too much freedom at home and we pampered him a lot. However i know that he just need a little guidance and i had already acknowledge the teachers that my kid can’t feed himselft and can’t sit still, the teacher told me that i should not be worry because they can handle. Most of the kids in his class had attended nursary schools since age of 2. They should not compare them and i think they are really unfair to my kid. I’m really sad about that and i had already sit in the class for few days and he did behave, he just need some time to get use to the routine. However the teacher still said my kid has boundaries disabilities and need to go for therapy. They even negleted him and when he tried to put his hand on others kids shoulder for line up, the kid push him away, i told the teacher about that, the teacher just smiled at me and never take any action, how he get the chance to learn to interact if the kids push him away? I know some teachers are very kind and patient, but i really can’t find in my place. Does any know how to teach kids boundary skill and make them sit during circle time?

  23. KC
    January 27, 2012

    I am shocked how preschool has changed. I worked in one in 87 to 91. We had 2 adults in any room that had over 10 kids they had more play time, gym time if there was rain outside, hands on, art ,music etc. We had few issues things were smooth. There was only 2/ 15 min circle time of academics because they cannot handle it. Then I was out of education for 9 years. For the last 11 was a teachers aid for special ed. I was LAID OFF. With threats of cuts of unemployment preschool was my last choice. NOW I SEE why, they keep a lot of things from the parents, they do not tell you much, staff is not allowed to tell you anything negative. SO your kids most of the day were out of control, got hurt cannot sit still, will not lay down at nap etc. Good kids who listen slowly get caught up and then here we go. Then it shows up in real school. Preschools are now just running a business and compete against each other with this sign language, Spanish, and workbook curriculum. Kids need centers, play time, eat time OUT OF THE Classrooms NOT IN IT, play outdoor area and there needs to be play area inside for bad weather or the class gets more out of control ( play time in classroom is out of the question they need a indoor play room out of classroom or outdoors to get running etc in!! IF your preschool looses teachers all the time its a red flag. It could be a horrible manager or over bearing and rude to staff, asking way too much, The class I was just hired for on the 2nd day I KNEW I MADE A MISTAKE! I rather stayed on unemployment and found an office job or walmart. on my 2nd day several boys caused complete chaos after I did a dynamite lesson on dinos and animals and had 3 yrs old quite no joke 30 min listening. Everyday certain times of the days is chaos and 13 kids to one adult I do not care is insane! Getting them to nap time and clean up is chaos, circle time 1/2 the time is ruined chaos, Before you know it 13 are running around screaming you do all these chants etc to get them to sit its doesn’t happen. I AM SHOCKED what I am seeing!! the last teacher LEFT in 2 days! 3 of us were just hired. RED FLAG . Kids need to have centers, art, music and play and only 30 min of academics at 3 get real. Again in the preschool I use to work in after 10 kids 2 adults. If your preschool keeps loosing staff you may want to place them in a home daycare. Parents would die if they knew really what going on. and if you are getting reports of bad behavior be glad many centers are covering up. We are only allowed to talk about things we are learning from the parents. AND IF you preschool cannot provide meals find another preschool and make sure they have a dining area out of the classroom. My first week I did not hear one positive thing about anything I did right from my manager.All it was negative and I was not trained yet on the curriculum, their set up etc was just thrown in there on 2nd day she was mad at me and the other new lady. SO when a PRESCHOOL TEACHER IS gone most likely SHE got tired or never could come up to par with way too high of expectations or its management and out the door.

  24. Alison
    March 21, 2012

    And this is why my kids (both boys) don’t do preschool. I am amazed at some of the comments here! I would be more concerned about the little boys who actually sit still during circle time than the ones running around playing. Kids don’t need schooling or structured learning until age 6. This strange phenomenon of starting school earlier and earlier and then forcing young, active children to sit still and saying something is wrong with them if they don’t is utterly absurd. Boys (and girls) need to run around and play. Period. That is how learning takes place during those young ages. Let your boys play and run and be wild! They are learning! These poor kids who go to preschool 4-5 days a week and then get in trouble for not sitting still makes me really sad. Study after study shows that preschool has no impact at all on academics, intelligence, or learning. If you choose to do it for fun, fine. But, don’t say kids need to sit down for circle time at that age. That is just silly. The greatest minds in history weren’t forced to sit down in circle time and most had no formal schooling. Relax and enjoy this age when your boys run freely!

  25. Joanna
    May 1, 2012

    The research keeps telling us that play-based is the best. Personally I believe that everyone benefits from the play-based approach and that many adults could have benefited from learning better social skills in preschool. Just because 2.5/3 year olds can be forced to sit for 20 minutes listening to a teacher lecture doesn’t mean it’s good for them. We can condition kids to do certain things, but some kids will resist. It doesn’t make them bad kids. My son’s preschool made us feel awful that he couldn’t sit in circle time. We even provided one-on-one support to get him on track before we ditched the cult-like school thanks to friends and family who thought we were nuts and helped us to see the light. Unfortunately we did not get out before we had him tested. Everyone kept telling us “he’s 2!” The doctors were not concerned. My husband and I had little experience with kids, so we listened and followed everything the teachers said at first. It turns out the class was a boot camp for kindergarten, and they didn’t have time to deal with any deviance from the norm. Six months later he has outgrown these “quirks,” but remains the same beautiful spirited boy. I am so glad we didn’t let them crush his spirit. Now that I am reading about other people crying over circle time I am even angrier with the direction preschools have taken. No offense to preschool teachers out there. It is a very difficult job, and I understand the desire for structure and normalcy. But my son’s teacher was the most stressed-out person over a simple end of the year dance recital, and I think her lack of imagination kept her from relaxing and enjoying her job. My son seems fine, but my husband and I are scarred from our experience with this school/teacher.

  26. Shere
    May 10, 2012

    I am a preschool teacher and I see teachers constantly bribing children to sit at circle times with stickers and other incentives or removing them to a corner for being disruptive….Who is learning here? A child learns they get a reward for doing something they do not want to or the child wasting time in the corner. Evidence proves children learn through play, through child initiated activities and when they are interested. I believe society has forced us to believe that we should be forcing children to sit still, learn letters and numbers at younger and younger ages, and that we are taking away true learning. We are creating children who are compliant instead of children who have their own thoughts and ideas. Yes they may know the day of the week and the letters in their name but only because they were told it (for a sticker) . We are filling them with yes and no answers and leaving no room for thought processes, creative thinking, or individualism. If a child does not want to come to circle time who are we to force them, if they find it interesting they will come. It makes me sad to see comments such as why put your child in preschool if you only want them to play… I am there to teach children. To provide an environment that stimulates their imagination, extend on their interests, role model behaviours, and create a love of learning. I can do all of this through play. There is nothing wrong with our children…They are all beautiful and bright. Maybe they are telling us our education system and teaching practices are failing them but yet again no one listens to the children 🙂

  27. Jen
    July 11, 2012

    I have a three year old, almost 4. She is a firecracker. She plays very imaginatively. She had difficulty sitting still during circle time over the 3-4 yr old pre-school year. Her teachers too recommended testing. (We did this and she is fine) They asked us if we let her watch t.v. all of the time? We do not. She gets one 1/2 hr show daily without commercials, usually PBS. She loves to be a ballerina, mermaid, princess etc. She learns most of this from books we read to her. Until someone has a spirited child they will never understand what some parents go thru. Why can one child sit still and another not? Does it mean the child has ADHD? Or are the parents… bad parents? Kids have different tempermants. You cannot fit a square peg into a round hole. If a preschool cannot find a way to work with your child find one that will. This is not the end of the world. Don’t let your child be labeled as a behavior problem. Once we told the teachers that we do not let her watch t.v. all of the time, we read to her, discipline her etc. they changed their attitude about our child. They tried different teqniques and they worked. I think she made them work harder and guess what, she started to do much better. New school next year. I have learned that children will do things when they are developmentally ready to do them. I am a good mom. She is a good kid.

  28. tiffany
    May 7, 2013

    Thank u very much because I was told today my 3 year old act like he has ants in his pants & can’t sit still at circle time & he hates sharing…Glad to know I don’t need to do a early intervention for him. When he was 2 I did have a speech & behavior evaluation done & they said he was fine. So when I was told this today I was like I need to contact them again….I Got Worried!!!!!!

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This entry was posted on July 28, 2008 by in Language Problems, Musings and Anecdotes and tagged , , , , , , .

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