Challenging Behavior: A Teachable Moment

GettyImages 962169936 — Health, Kids

Much of my weblog writing has focused on my neighbor youngsters as I observe their day-to-day play.  I not too long ago moved and now have no neighbor youngsters to spy on.  In reality, 1 of their moms texted me to ask what I was going to create about now that I couldn’t watch the kids from my kitchen window.  Turns out there are other strategies to obtain weblog material! 

Recently, I was buying in a neighborhood division retailer.  While in the dressing area attempting on some clothing, I overheard two ladies speaking.  It sounded like 1 was the director of a preschool.  She was explaining how a new boy had began in their 3-year-old class, but he had displayed some difficult behavior, such as operating out of the area and getting aggressive toward other kids.  She went on to describe how she had to contact the parents and inform them he “wasn’t ready for preschool” and that he wouldn’t be permitted to come any longer.  Finally, she told her buying companion, that while the classroom teachers have been incredibly skilled, she just didn’t really feel they could deal with him though attending to the other folks in the group.

While I was currently disheartened from attempting on twenty bathing suits that did not make me appear as slim as I would like to be, I was even more depressed just after hearing the director’s story.  It was all I could do not to chime in on the conversation and ask, “How will he be ready for preschool if he never gets to go?  Don’t you know that his behaviors are communicating something?  Haven’t you ever wanted to run away from a new, unfamiliar situation?  He’s only three—what were you expecting?”

Fortunately, in contrast to this 3-year-old, I have some self-regulation abilities and refrained from butting in but realized it could possibly be worth writing about.  It reminded me of the concept of misbehavior vs. mistaken behavior.  I discovered about this from a colleague who had study the book, The Power of Guidance by Dr. Dan Gartrell.  Dr. Gartrell explains that when kids demonstrate difficult behavior (like aggression toward other folks or operating away), it ought to be observed as mistaken behavior.  The kids are producing a error with their undesirable behavior mainly because they lack life encounter (i.e. 3 years old suggests the youngster has only been in this planet for thirty-six months), their brain has not completed building, and they do not but have the tools to resolve troubles or correctly communicate their feelings.

If I had been at the preschool and not in a dressing area, I could possibly have pointed out this theory to the director.  I was an early childhood classroom teacher for numerous years ahead of this way of considering was presented to me.  I was fast to blame the youngster for unwelcome behavior or label him or her as “naughty”.  Later in my profession, I realized that a big element of my job as numerous children’s initial teacher is to assist them find out how to deal with new or complicated conditions such as the initial day of preschool or producing pals.  Helping kids articulate and express feelings in socially acceptable strategies is element of practically just about every state’s early childhood understanding requirements.  If we as teachers do not take the time to teach kids these abilities in a college setting, who is going to do it?  Parents can do some of the legwork but getting in a classroom with a substantial group of peers is a substantially distinct circumstance than getting an only youngster or with a couple of siblings at household. 

The entire circumstance is a lot like some thing I discovered in a education I after attended.  The presenter gave the instance of two kids fighting more than a toy.  Most teachers’ reaction would be to take the toy away and possibly place the toy up higher or out of sight, saying some thing like, “If you can’t share the toy, then we’ll just need to put it away.”  The presenter went on to ask, “If the toy is in the closet, when will the children learn how to share it?”  That struck household for me mainly because at 1 point in my profession that is precisely what I would’ve carried out.  She helped me recognize I wasn’t carrying out my students any favors by placing the toy away.  Rather, I was missing a teachable moment.  What a excellent chance to do some conflict resolution or have the kids difficulty resolve about how to share the toy.

So, though I effectively located a swimsuit to acquire, I was not capable to assist a misunderstood 3-year-old get back into preschool.  The ideal I could do to remedy the circumstance was to create this weblog report in the hopes that other folks in the field of early childhood education could find out some thing from this story.  This is a excellent instance of the want for social and emotional understanding that is so substantially at the forefront of education conversations today.  Let’s not miss the possibilities to teach these abilities when they are appropriate in front of us.

Jennifer Fernandez

Jennifer’s education background is diverse. She taught PreK–6
for 22 years, served on district and regional instructional committees. She holds Texas
Teaching Certificates in Elementary Self Contained, Early Childhood, &amp Bilingual/ESL, plus
Minnesota Elementary Education. Jennifer has served for 7 years as a qualified understanding
specialist, and is in demand as a presenter to regional, state, and neighborhood conferences.
Read more by Jennifer Fernandez–&gt

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