What a great learning experience! With that said, here is my recommendation. Talk FIRST with your professor. He or she is responsible for your placement, and you should be in a class were you will learn to be successful. (and it seems you are learning!) Your professor will probably advise you to speak your concerns with the director, or the adviser will come to the school to evaluate you (and hopefully witness the cruel behavior firsthand). Then after all that, you would probably talk with the site director. My next question, are you teaching? You can be a positive model for her too. Sadly, I worked with a teacher for a year, and I have never ever in my life been around such a depressing cruel person. The agency said union rules kept her job. Fortunately I got my own class. This advice I would give to my student teachers, as they did one 1/2 observation in the other rooms, so I knew this topic would come up after they visited her room. You can then try to speak with the teacher, about how you feel hurt to see the kids cry after a misdeed. You can ask if she tried some of the positive discipline guidelines Head Start uses. This will give you an idea if she thinks they are crap, and her method is right. Or, she just does not know any other way. You can help her 'manage the classroom' better by establishing a routine every day. Have a picture timeline of the day's schedule (simple line drawings, or a pix of a child doing the activity) so the kids know what to expect. Also, are class rules established? in a positive manner? with picture cues? (we use indoor voices, ect). If a certain child repeatedly is messing up, maybe offer to document the child and what sets him off and offer suggestions on how to redirect him. I wish you the best, but this field has alot of rotten apples.
HS Reggio teacher, 15 yrs
the first is a great teacher website, with Head Start outcome-based lessons, maybe some will help you with positive guidance,
the second link is a great FREE label maker site! I use the name maker, matching the first letter of the child's name to the correct phonetic sound (Apple - Allen). You cannot get better!