Topics in Early Childhood Education

Monday, March 28, 2011

A Sense of Security

I was talking to a group of teachers at the California AEYC Conference about children needing security when coming into the classroom. It was freshly on my mind because I had told my student teachers the same thing. We owe it to the children in our classrooms to have a consistent classroom management plan and expectations. When a child crosses the threshold into the classroom each day, she should feel the security of knowing exactly what to expect for the day. We may think that a challenging child wants to be out of control, but that is not the case. Each child wants to know what is expected and to feel the security of that knowledge.

Our society is so unpredictable right now. As my student teachers work with an at-risk child, I remind them that the school day may be the only dependable part of of that child's day. He may not know what will happen when he leaves school. BUT, for the hours he is in the classroom, he should have the security of knowing exactly what will happen. When a teacher is inconsistent in classroom expectations and consequences, it throws that security off balance. That lack of balance actually creates more negative behaviors. When a teacher says to me, "I just can get the class (or child) under control," my first thought is that she has given up and doesn't want to make the effort to continue to search for something that will work.

One thing I want my student teachers to do when they become the only teacher in the classroom is to maintain good classroom procedures and be consistent in their consequences and rewards. Not only will that curtail negative behaviors, it will also provide the warm security blanket each child needs while at school.



At 1:32 AM, Anonymous Meenakshi said...

I agree with you. The child security is a need today. When a child feel secure only then he is able to learn something. The child must feel secure in the classroom.

At 11:33 AM, Anonymous Kathryn K. FCS 5170 said...

I completely agree with the fact that children need consistency and a sense of security in the classroom. I helped out in the preschool classroom at Morningside Elementary and everything was very consistent. The children knew exactly what to expect when they came in and they had structured, age-appropriate activities. I would say that this did improve the behavior of the children in the classroom. They felt secure knowing what was going to happen each day. Even when you think about adults, uncertainty is scary. There is probably some uncertainty of what is going to happen next for children especially children who are at risk, so keeping routines and consistency in the classroom will aid in the children learning and feeling secure in the classroom environment.

At 3:15 PM, Anonymous LaynieM FCS 5170 said...

I couldn't agree more. Having consistency and stability is so important for a child. I appreciate that you mentioned high risk children because school can be the only place where they are able to relax and have that stability and comfort. The classroom should be a place where each child can learn and have their confidence strengthened. We do not always know what is going on at home or why a child is acting out. Offering them security is the best thing that we can do to help them learn and grow.

At 8:11 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

I really enjoyed reading about security in children. I work at a daycare and the children who do not feel secure are out of control and you just wnat to let them know that you are there for them and it is amazing the difference in the child's behavior when the do have a "sense of security". Sherry K FCS 170

At 7:20 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

I agree with you. I believe this is the number one goal for children to learn in school and that is to first feel safe.

At 3:59 PM, Blogger Coyia Wallace said...

I am a Pre-K teacher in Charlotte, North Carolina, and one thing that we stress in consistency. It is important that we stay on our schedule everyday. As you mentioned, it is also important for the children to know the expectations throughout the entire day!

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At 5:35 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Hello, I work in a pre-K classroom and our routines are the same most of the time but I let them know of any changes in the morning circle time if there is a change. I do feel that having children feel secure is important for the children to feel safe. What are other ways a teacher can do to help children feel safe that has behavior problems? Thank you for the information Suzanne Mckenney

At 5:20 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

I agree with providing a safe environment to our students. I like to be consistent with rules and expectations and also create a balanced environment or recognize their good choices by rewarding them with a praise or a sunshine for practicing safety rules.The key term is consistency to help them be successful in the future.


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