In our last few blogs, we’ve taken an in-depth look on how to choose an early learning program. They have covered the very basic steps from researching the different programs available and matching the curriculum, to finding the best fit your child’s needs. We’ve also covered the qualities of a great teacher and assessing the teacher and their interactions between the children.
Choosing an early learning program does take time so when you start early — and as far in advance as you can — it affords you the opportunity to take your time and focus in on what you want and what your child needs.
In the last blog of our four part series, we’ll take a final look further into key interactions between the teacher and child.
Intercommunication between the teacher and the classroom
Often, as an early learning educator, it is required to play referee with the children in the classroom. Of course it’s fostering learning and developing valuable skills, but it’s also allowing the kids to be kids and learn from their behavior and interactions with others.
When you’re observing the classroom, it’s always good to keep an eye on classroom management and how the teacher operates around conflict. At this age, kids are learning how to cooperate and function in a group — and naturally — disagreements arise. It’s important for the teacher to guide them through conflict, but also to set firm boundaries on adverse or harmful behavior. Look for a classroom and a teacher who let’s the kids learn how to manage themselves, but steps in when an adult is required. It is also important to note that a teacher should be encouraging and kind, and should never act harshly or humilate a child. Watch closely and observe that the teacher is:
- Stepping in to mediate when necessary.
- Listening to both sides of the disagreement from each child.
- Working with each child to thoughtfully resolve the dispute.
Because this stage of development involves children learning how to navigate new and complex feelings, the kids in early programs often have hurt feelings. This is a crucial stage where children need to receive appropriate consoling and reassurance. Pay close attention that the teacher is:
- Aware of a child’s feeling and responds to troubled or hurt feelings.
- When these feelings are identified, the teacher is providing comfort and reassurance.
- The teacher is listening and reflecting sympathetic body language to the child.
Another huge component of early learning are kids becoming autonomous and learning how to function around tasks such as using the restroom. It’s also learning to work around scheduled events such as eating (lunchtime). It can be difficult for children to conform to schedules right off the bat, so ensure the teacher is being helpful and accomodating when a child needs to use the restroom outside of the scheduled time, helps the child with putting on or removing clothing, and that they handle any restroom accidents in a calm and nurturing manner.
If you’ve gone through the last three parts of this series, you should have a grasp on what makes an early learning program stand out among the many.
ABC Early Learning Academy
At ABC Early Learning Academy, we encourage you to check out the services and early learning programs we offer. We have three convenient locations including Stone Mountain, Midtown Atlanta, and Eagle’s Landing.
Connect with us today about our early learning programs!