Children need guidance, but they also need to feel valued within a classroom setting. As an early childhood education professional, you want the best for your students, all while fostering a harmonious classroom environment. Therefore, here are a few suggestions to keep in mind.
Create easy-to-follow rules: From the very start you should clearly discuss your classroom rules and then write them down to display around the classroom. You could have the children help decorate these signs to reinforce what they mean. Helpful rules could be phrases like "say please and thank you" or "be kind to everyone." Create fun games or songs you can incorporate into your class every day to help your students remember each one.
Choose your words and tone carefully: Telling children what to do, rather than what not to do is much more effective in conveying your message. Instead of telling your students not to run, try asking them to slow down and walk. That way, you are gently guiding them toward acceptable behavior, without them feeling chastised. Also, talk with your students, not at them. Give them time to respond and feel like they have a voice, rather than have them feel like they are being lectured.
Respect individuality: Every child in your classroom sees the world through his or her own world lens and ultimately learns differently. There will be auditory, visual and kinesthetic learners — sometimes children will benefit from more than one style — therefore it is important to use many different teaching methods and use activities to hit on all of these learning styles.
To learn more about creating the best environment for learning, check out our course "The Basics of Appropriate Learning Environments." At ProSolutions Training, we offer early childhood education training for interested professionals. Contact us today to learn more.