Hot Vampires in Love
The TV Guide shouted
above the conveyor
carrying my groceries
to the supermarket checker.
Suddenly I missed
Only he could write this song.
Note #1: On Teasing
I had a large group of very active boys for the last two years. There has been a lot of teasing and a lot of lost tempers. The thing I finally hit upon with them was to talk with the 5 boys who were doing most of the teasing (They also were the ones most sensitive to it of course). Together we came to a pretty good definition of teasing and a signal I or other children could do to alert the teaser to his behavior. We decided on simply saying the word “Teasing” with our “no thank you” sign which is sign language for “no”. Within 3 weeks the worst offenders had reduced their behavior by 3/4 and we had very few temper outburst. I did most of the alerting, and I did it very matter-of-factly with no judgment, or as little as I could manage. One boy who was the worst offender almost completely stopped teasing behavior within 2 weeks of the start of our experiment.It so important to give children immediate feedback (especially with children under 5) without interrupting their flow or making them feel badly.
Note #2: On Exploring Emotions and Feelings
Emotion coaching is one of the only effective tools that a preschool teacher has to use when teaching children how to successfully integrate into a group and learn social skills. I think that teachers should be thoroughly trained to be sensitive, and use this in mostly one on one situations. Why would we as educators talk about water, sand, or kangaroos and not about feelings? We should explore feelings as freely as we explore butterflies or mud puddles. That way they may be less scary and more easy to manage.
Now if a child starts to disclose abuse or shows signs of emotional distress, of course you cut the activity short and check on the child as well as talking with the parent to report what happened and see if you can give more support to the child around whatever issues came up. In my experience parents often are relieved to have a sensitive teacher who is willing to give extra support to a child who is experiencing a crisis as long as you support the parent as well.