“Human relationships, and the effects of relationships on relationships, are the building blocks of healthy development.”(Shonkoff & Phillips, 2000)
How does early education impact elementary school and beyond? Well known longitudinal studies looking at the long-term impacts of high quality preschool on low-income children and families show that the effects include: • Educational Outcomes: • Special education placement • Grade retention • High school completion • Cognitive Outcomes • IQ • School achievement • Employment Outcomes: • Employment status • Employed in skilled jobs • Monthly earnings • Crime Outcomes: • Arrests/convictions • Child abuse & neglect
The Role of Relationships in children’s learning • “Relationships engage children in the human community in ways that help define who they are, what they can become, and how and why they are important to other people” (National Scientific Counsel on the Developing Child)
Social/Emotional milestones for primary-aged children • Self-esteem • Peer relationships and group skills • Games and Rules, competition vs. cooperation • Interact in mixed-age groupings • Moral development
Quality of the teacher-student relationship in Kindergarten predicts academic and behavioral outcomes through 8th grade (Harme & Pianta, 2001)
Classrooms the foster positive relationships… • Are welcoming to all children. • Have teachers who communicate with children in a warm manner • Have teachers who provide a balance of group and one-on-one activities • Provide children opportunities to interact with other children • Have teachers and families who develop relationships with each other and share information.
Talk at your table: Identify some classroom characteristics or teacher behaviors in your classrooms that foster positive child-teacher relationships
Children who have secure and positive relationships with adults and/or teachers: • Have consistent and positive interactions • Are trusting of adults • Can predict others’ behaviors more easily • Take positive risks • Display self-regulation/control • Demonstrate self-worth and acceptance
Children who have insecure and negative relationships with adults and/or teachers: • Have inconsistent and negative interactions • Have difficulties adjusting to new situations • May be overly aggressive • May have an inability to succeed • Get easily frustrated and upset by academic and social challenges • Lack social skills
What can adults to do help foster positive and trusting relationships with children in classrooms?
Teachers are a… • Nurturer • Responder • Observer • Preparer • Initiator • Coach • Participator • Teacher • Director • Custodial
Engage in one-to-one interactions with children • Get on the child’s level for face-to-face interactions • Use a pleasant, calm voice and simple language • Provide warm, responsive physical contact • Follow the child’s lead and interest during play • Help children understand classroom expectations • Redirect children when they engage in challenging behavior • Listen to children and encourage them to listen to others • Acknowledge children for their accomplishments and effort
What can Mrs. Hannon do differently in the future to help Alan • get through the day? While busy greeting children and preparing for the day, the teachers heard Alan, a 4-year boy, crying in the hallway. Every morning, Alan cried very loudly and refused to come into the classroom from the bus. Mrs. Hannon, the lead teacher, found herself becoming very frustrated with Alan, and she told him to come to the classroom without asking why he was upset. During circle time, Alan repeatedly kicked his feet on the carpet and did not pay attention as Mrs. Hannon read a story to the group. Mrs. Hannon told Alan to stop kicking, but he continued kicking his feet in the air. Exasperated, Mrs. Hannon snapped at Alan, "Stop kicking, I have had enough. You are going to leave circle time. Go over there and sit on the chair. I am going to tell your mom about this." As Alan moved to the thinking chair, he began to cry. He was very mad at Mrs. Hannon and wished someone would "snuggle him" instead of yell at him.