"It's not the letter 'A' or the letter 'B' or the letter 'C' that’s going to make a life-long difference to this child. They will learn to read. We will engage them in wonderful logic and thinking and higher level cognitive skills. We want to have rich language interactions and make this a real learning community. But what they’ll remember about us is not what we say, it's how we make the feel, not only about themselves but how they feel about their relationship with me."
Marie L. Masterson, an associate professor at Dominican University, shares in an interview from the Turn-Key Training: Addressing Challenging Behaviors, "We know that children who experience good feelings in their connection with an adult when they’re young will continue to seek those good feelings through school experiences and through experience with teachers for the rest of their lives. If their early experiences are not positive, they will quickly disengage from the entire learning process."
"The bottom line for all of us as early childhood educators is to keep the essential question: 'How do I engage the child in that reciprocal interaction that's respectful, that draws the child into my personal strengths and brings out the very best in each child?'"
Out of the Box Training Kit: Granting Children Their Emotions
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i wonder how many of all the early childhood frameworks we all have to use today are based on quality interactions? How does one measure the most important thing that we should be doing with young children? I have yet to see an objective that states; today the child experienced a quality interaction with a caring adult!
I do believe the relationships we forge with the children lays the foundation for any other learning that takes place. Which is why I have asked this question many times--why is it okay by state regulation for 20 preschoolers to be in the care of only 2 adults? How can you possibly address the needs of the children properly with so few adults? Since many of these children spend the majority of their waking hours at daycare, there should be more adult interaction, not less---this is a huge flaw in the system to me. I fortunately work at a preschool (not a daycare) with 20 children and 4 adults and sometimes, that is still not enough. Relationships are so important at any age but particularly in the lives of these young children.