Early childhood educators tell me a lot of stories when I keynote or train. And since I’ve been speaking and training for almost four decades, you can imagine just how many stories there have been. Lately, though, I keep hearing the same three stories from teachers throughout the country.
Just as a teacher’s most important role is ensuring the safety of her students, this is also the most important role of the environment. The better the environment is set up the less time the teacher needs to devote to this critical mission.
One challenge we face is that some of the questions children ask are linked to unobservable phenomena such as death, decay and disappearance. It is these aspects of connection to the natural world that are often the least well-defined, but they can be the ones that fascinate children.
In an early years setting, a child’s key person will become a familiar figure while their primary attachment figure is away during the day. Jack's dad has just dropped him off at nursery. Laura, a practitioner Jack knows well, welcomed him as his key person Rose wasn't available.
Regardless of SEN, many children find paying attention a key challenge. A number of proactive strategies can help, such as allowing the use of sensory-rich resources to provide feedback; providing quiet spaces to sit in calmly and take time out; minimising other distractions; and using attractive...
Adult-imposed responses to behaviour, whether positive or negative, can take away a child's own feelings of control and stop them learning to think for themselves.
Many teachers tell me they spend too much time trying to maintain a sense of safety in their classrooms and admit to resorting to more “time outs” and harsher “discipline techniques” than in the past. What is causing some children to develop social behaviour disturbances that I have come to...
We would love our children to become self-regulated, happy individuals, but do some of the strategies we use in our early years settings actually backfire in this regard?
Having moments of boredom is a good thing. It allows children time to simply float along, daydream, or imagine. Boredom is useful in that it compels children to invent, to switch gears, to think of something new, and to learn to enjoy their own company.
If children have not yet managed to cross the “centre line”– the line that runs down the middle of their bodies – then get them outside and climbing and balancing.