Thursday, July 14, 2016

Agree Upon Your Norms

Okay, you've done a lot of work. You've found your group, defined your structure, and chosen your curriculum. Now, it's time to agree upon your norms for the group.

I know what you're thinking? Norms? Really? Seems a little much for a preschool co-op. I know - I thought the same thing.

But then.......

Our group got together to talk about what we expected as a group and it was sooooo helpful! I was so thankful that we had agreed upon these before the group got started.

Figuring out your norms probably won't take a ton of time, so if you want to combine it with Lesson 3, go for it! On the other hand, if you're just looking for a little time to get away and bond with your new buddies, plan it separately and enjoy the extra time to visit!

So, what exactly are norms? Well, the dictionary defines norms as "standards of proper or acceptable behavior" My own Ashley-version of it for preschool purposes is "how we expect the group to run and the people to behave while we are working as a group."

Basically, you just want everyone to be on the same page as far as group expectations. Some of the things you may want to discuss include:

  • What is our "sick policy"? Can kids still come if they have a runny nose? Fevers?
  • What time are we expected to arrive? 
  • When will the lessons begin?
  • Will there be a playtime after the structured time ends? Or are we expected to leave right away?
  • By what time should everyone be gone? This is different than the end time for preschool. This is the time everyone should be out of the house or facility.
  • What is the plan for other siblings?
  • Are all moms in the same room as the kids? Or is it just the teacher and a helper?
  • If moms are in the room, what is the expectation for them? Helping with activities or just helping kids to stay focused?
  • Will we be having a snack? Who provides it?
  • Are there any allergies we need to be aware of?
  • How will we handle birthdays?
  • What is our "behavior policy"? Who addresses misbehavior - the teacher or the parent?
  • Are you open to inviting other families or have you reached your "max"?
  • What is the preferred method of communication?
These are just a few suggestions. And yes, for some of them, you may already be on the same page (like not coming when your kiddo is running a fever), but formally agreeing upon it and putting it into writing solidifies it!

Once you've agreed upon your norms, you'll be ready to begin working on your schedule, which we will look at next week. Are you excited? We are almost there!

Okay, your turn! Leave a comment below letting me know how you're doing. Are your norms in place? Were there any that you added that I didn't list above? 

And if this post or series has been helpful for you, I'd love for you to share it with your friends. Just click on one of the icons to the left to share. 

And next week, be sure to have your pencils ready - we'll begin to tackle making the schedule. See ya soon!

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