Topics in Early Childhood Education

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Sick is Sick...Even in Paradise

We just got back from a semi-wonderful trip to Hawaii. This is such a great time to go as it gives us a nice break from the winter cold. The first few days were truly paradise. Hawaii is one of my favorite places and I ate it up, soaking up the sun and atmosphere. However, after a few days, a health crisis appeared: stomach flu. It hit with a vengeance and I did not completely recover until coming home and collapsing in bed for two more days. Sick is sick, even in paradise. It was hard to really enjoy being there after that. Oh well, at least it was a break from winter. :-)
It also brought to mind some of our poorly-run classrooms. Most children approach school with excitement (at least until a poor teacher kills it) and one of our great challenges is to keep it exciting. But, a terrible atmosphere is a terrible atmosphere...even in school.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Building Those Relationships

I was recently reading and article called, Building Positive Relationships with Young Children by Dr. Gail Joseph and Dr. Phillip Strain. In the article they were talking about how critical it is to build good relationships with children. That is one of the most important ways to avoid negative behaviors in the classroom. I liked their metaphor of a piggy bank. Every time you engage in positive relationship building with a child it is like making a deposit into their piggy bank. However, when we nag or criticize a child, we make a withdrawal. Teachers and caregivers should ask themselves, "Am I making a deposit or a withdrawal in this child's piggy bank." Turning the negative (a withdrawal) into a positive (a deposit) will go a long way to continue to build that solid positive relationship (a full piggy bank).