Creating a quality environment and program for children requires skill, dedication, patience, and continuing education. Your commitment to quality raises your professionalism and will help you gain the respect, recognition, and compensation you deserve. “Professionalism” is the word we use to describe how to care for children using the best standards, practices, strategies, ethics, resources and material s available.
Remember what your parents, coaches and teachers coaches, babysitters, and care providers said to you as a child? “Don’t be a baby” “I’ll give you something to cry about” “Why don’t you act nice to your sister?” Those words and those feelings associated with those words stayewith us for a long time. The phrases that we use today will impact now with the children in our care, It isimportant to always say exactly what we mean but it must be proactive, professional and build a child’s self esteem. There are many common phrases that we use on a daily basis as caregivers of young children and some of them may need some refining.
“God Boy” or “Good Girl”Is the child good or are his/her actions good? Believing that children are “innately” good it is really the behavior that we are trying to encourage. It is important to separate the regard for the child’s behavior from the child’s intrinsic worth. This helps the child develop a firm sense of self. If the child’s behavior was something that we want to reoccur, it is helpful to incite or describe what it is that the child is doing correctly that we want to praise. “Great job picking up the blocks”Think of the difference between the phrases, “You are nice” and “Helping your friend to clean up was thoughtful. You’re a good friend” When the behavior is cited specifically and stated in a positive manner the child knows exactly what was appreciated.
“Isn’t He Cute?”This phrase ends up linking the child’s sense of importance to how physically attractive he or she is. Physical attractiveness has nothing to do with the child’s value. Let’s not have children feel they more or less significant based on how they look.
“Tell Him/Her Your Sorry”If the child is not remorseful, this teaches children to use “false words” to get out of trouble. If the child is feeling sorry, the we can give them the words to use. When a child is not sorry for his actions towards a peer, we may better address the issue by explaining choices for appropriate behavior. The best way to teach a child manner is to by modeling good manners to them and with our co-workers. We also can demonstrate an honest apology when it reflects sorrow for their behavior. As a teacher you can also begin to model empathy and talk about how the child must feel when something happens to them.
“You need to Share”Sharing is an acquired social skill that children learn from others. Most toddlers and preschoolers are very egotistical. Imagine that you just got this really cool cell phone with the latest gadgets, “Would you want to give it up?” Sharing is a developmental sequence of ownership. Children need to know how to own objects before they can before they can share them. True sharing needs to be the choice of the owner. Forced sharing is really relinquishing ownership. We can model sharing with children and then praise their attempts at cooperative play. Before we can share begin with taking turns.
“O.K.?”It’s time to go outside, O.K.? When we talk to children and it’s not really a question, make it a statement. It is time to go outside! Asking a child if it’s O.K. when it is not really a choice does not cultivate respect.
“You Guys”Watch out for sexist remarks. These gender specific nouns helps reinforce stereotypical sex roles. When addressing a mixed group of children you may call them by their classroom name, my students, or you all to address the entire group.
“NO-NO- NO”We need to save this word for immediate dangerous situations. Children’s behavioral compliance is greatly increased when we follow a “no” command with a positive statement of why. “You need to put your feet on the floor, climbing on the chair is not safe!”“O.K.?”
As a child, not many of us were filled with all of our emotions being accepted. We as educators should validate all children’s feelings. Acknowledge their feelings whenever they share them, scaffolding them along as they express themselves. There are no ”Bad” or “Wrong” feelings. Feelings belong to that child and they should not be judged as wrong or right. Anger, sorrow, curiosity, interest, disinterest, loneliness, hunger, pain and frustration are all acceptable.
What are some of the negative phrases that you have heard lately? These are just few that I’ve had heard as I have walked around the classrooms these last few weeks. How does this reflect on your classroom? On our program? On our roles as professional early childhood educators. If we want to be viewed as professionals we first must act as professionals.
What is professionalism? It is what you convey in your mannerism, teaching, interactions, appearance and demeanor with the children, parents and staff that you work with.
Children learn from everything around them, and especially from the caring adults in their lives, you are their teacher. You are their caregiver, their nurturer, their model to follow, they learn from what you do. Children learn from what they live and they learn it from their family and teachers that they interact with on a daily basis. Always remain professional and always speak to a child as if their parent was in the room,
Professionalism In The Classroom
Professionalism in the Classroom<br />Learning to Listen to the Words <br />We use with Children<br />
What kind of negative things did you hear as a kid?<br />Don’t be a crybaby<br />Why don’t you be nice?<br />That’s why we have rules<br />Just do what I say!<br />I’ll give you something to cry about<br />Don’t interupt me, I ‘m talking to an adult<br />
What kind of negative phraseshave you heard lately?<br />Don’t interrupt me, I’m busy talking to an adult<br />Rules are made to be followed, not broken<br />Stop running!!!<br /> What can you add to this list?<br />
What is Professionalism?<br />Dedication<br />Patience<br />Respect<br />Team Player<br />Continuing Education <br />Respect, honesty, integrity for all<br />
A Professional Early Childhood Educator…<br />Nurtures Self as well as the Children in their charge<br />Moves up the Career Ladder<br />Knows and uses community resources <br />Knows that teaching and learning is a life long process<br />Treats children with respect and honesty<br />Is a team player!!<br />Provides a safe and predictable environment<br />Knows that learning is a life long process and seeks to improve their own skills<br />Treats each child with respect, dignity and honesty according to their development <br />Has a sense of “Aura” in her room<br />
Professional Early Childhood Educator Continued<br />Uses teachable moments<br />Knows their own strengths and weakness<br />Connects with other caregivers and associations<br />Respects diversity<br />Is ethical in the daily interactions with staff, children and parents<br />Positive Role Model<br />Acts in a calm and collective manner during emergencies<br />Keeps confidentiality<br />Room conversations between adults are kept to a minimum<br />Conversations to be at child level-investigation, scaffolding, encouraging rich oral language and engaging interactions in the classroom<br />
Children learn from what they live<br />If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.If children live with fairness, they learn justice.If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them.If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live<br />