Hi EBDTeacher......I work in a Montessori pe-school and yes, all the children I teach do listen and sit for long period of time. We constantly engage in musical activities and they love it. The secret to getting children at a young age to co-operate....is to not set any expectations....don't jump to conclusions....if you show that you are confident they will listen. Consistancy too.....keep to a set of ground rules..."It is important to listen"...."See how xxxxxx is sitting beautifully...I wonder how many of you can do the same"......you positive reinforcement...nothing is wrong...it is just done in a different way. The very young children will find it difficult to engage in activities but if you keep going...the older ones will set the example and start to guide the younger ones....start the lesson with a similar activity...and end with a similar theme....it shows the begining and ending without having to talk about it. I start with action songs and end up with "Tic toc tic toc it's time to say goodbye....goodbye XXXX and go through their names". Or have a bag of goodies...sit those down that will sit....let the others do whatever....and sing "what have I got in my bag today, my bag today , my bag today....what have I got in my bag today, shall we have a look" to the theme of this is the way we wash our face. While you sing this the bag gets passed around the circle of children. Then when the song finishes that child gets to open the bag and take 1 thing out. You can talk briefly about that item, then the song continues.... It is so difficult getting the right balance with young children but once you have it...it is great. Good luck.
If it's the latter they may never have been expected to sit in a group and listen to/ participate in a group activity before? That is quite a hard skill to teach little children and is a learning objective in itself without any additional learning being expected!
I attend a Montessori parent and toddler class with my DS. The children are all between 2 and 3 and are being explicitly taught to sit together and join in (just through things like rolling a ball to one another, singing a song together, passing a toy around the circle etc). Even with a parent each and the teacher not every child manages the full 10 (or so) minutes of group time every week!
I taught one off lessons to some nursery classes in schools in a previous job. They would have been 3+ and were in school. They could generally hold together as a group for 20-30 minutes doing practical activities and singing. They were in 'school' though.
It won't get better if you are expecting pre-schoolers to sit quietly and listen to you talking to them, no! If you can let us know what it is you are trying to do with them, then there might be peole who can give some tips and advice, but I'm a bit confused about the concept of TEFL with pre-schoolers !
Oh dear, can they not have a nursery worker in the room with her while you are there till she gets used to you? Maybe you could start by putting on some music and getting them to sing and dance - will help burn off energy and get them listning to you. Try to get them sitting in a circle where they can see you as less disruptive and you can see their faces clearly. Use a onfident firm but friendly voice and sometimes an instrument or clapping a rhythm gets their attention. If they keep being tricky then ask for some support from someone who works there to help keep them under control till they listen to you. Pick those that are the worst and get them to sit by you or give them a job like handing things out. Hopefully it will get better. Good luck.
Just a quick question for anyone who works or has worked in a nursey. I teach English as a foreign language and last week started classes in a nursery. This is the first time I have worked with children so young and OMG it is so difficult!!!
I had an image in my mind of little kids sitting quietly listening to stories, but these do not stop moving, they don't listen, they basically do what they want in the class. I'm only there for a very short time a have had about 7 classes, but there is one child who just bursts into tear as soon as I walk into the nursery. My question is,will it get better? I don't know if I can cope with the cryer tomorrow. She does not stop from the moment I walk in to the moment that I leave. I try to comfort her but it is no use.