When working with children, it is vital to provide them with a setting that would be conducive to their healthy development. As a result, professionals in the sphere of Early Childhood Education must possess the expertise and rely on their guidance philosophy in creating an environment where children can have understanding and support. Such a guidance philosophy must be based on the College of Early Childhood Educators’ Practice Guidelines. My guidance philosophy consists of addressing four main areas, namely, nurturing responsive relationships, forming positive perspectives, promoting the development of self-regulation, and developing strategies.
Nurturing Responsive Relationships
I believe that one of the main roles of early-childhood educators is to ensure an excellent relationship with the children they work with and their families. Relationships that value respect and caring are at the core of the successful promotion of healthy development and well-being (“Practice guidelines,” 2017). I am certain that without a good relationship, any attempt at providing education to children will be in vain since they will be unlikely to respond to any interactions positively.
To nurture responsive relationships, I will always focus on the quality of my interactions with children and will allocate as much time to them as they require. Moreover, I will respond to children who may need my attention immediately to prevent challenging behaviors from interfering with their learning. Finally, I will talk to parents about their children’s development and will be open to discussing with them all aspects of my educational approach.
Forming Positive Perspectives
I believe that it is also essential for educators to have a positive view of the children they work with, their parents, and other professionals. No child should be disregarded as incapable of performing a certain task or due to their challenging behaviors, just like no parents should be ignored for being too curious to learn about their child’s development. I think that educators should always consider the needs of the child first and then develop an approach to them based on their interests.
Thus, my approach will entail creating an environment where all children have opportunities to pursue their interests. Moreover, I will also talk to parents to learn more about children’s preferences and traits to improve my positive interactions with them and reduce the impact of challenging behavior arising from the lack of joy. Additionally, I will also promote meaningful interactions between children, letting them learn about one another’s interests through play.
Promoting the Development of Self-Regulation
I believe that children are capable of being independent and making decisions on their own, especially in situations involving stressors. At the same time, educators should always be in control of the situation to assist children in coping with their problems (“Practice guidelines,” 2017. I am certain that any type of challenging behavior can be resolved when the educator understands its cause and designs a strategy to enable the child to self-regulate their problem.
To promote self-regulation and development among children, I will, first of all, provide them with care and warmth. My strategy involves identifying the stressor causing the child’s challenging behavior and then reducing it. For instance, a child who is hyper-aroused because of stress can easily demonstrate a fight-or-flight response. In such a case, I will decide to reduce the stressor or remove it completely to encourage the child to self-regulate.
I believe that the strategies for managing challenging behaviors must always be based on responsive relationships since they help to deal with emotions and overcome stress. Educators must be able to employ both direct and indirect strategies depending on the situation at hand. The ultimate goal of each strategy is to respond to the unique characteristics and challenges of all children to provide them with growth opportunities.
In my practice, in the first place, I will strive to create an environment that is welcoming toward children and one which encourages them to overcome their stressors. Then, I will present children with play materials that foster decision-making and problem-solving in them. At the same time, I will always be flexible with my approach to adjust it to fit the needs of every child.
Promoting Social and Emotional Skills
The promotion of social and emotional skills is the key task of all early childhood educators, and many approaches can be explored concerning the topic. Such a task is important because it is necessary for teaching children how to recognize and control their emotions to be able to solve social problem skills. “Kids Have Stress Too!” is a resource that can provide educators with an insight into children’s stress and how to deal with it.
The program “Kids Have Stress Too!” enhanced my understanding of the intricacies of stress from the perspective of children. Additionally, it enabled me to discover how exactly stress affects the physical, emotional, and mental abilities of children (“Kids have stress too,” n.d.). Additionally, it enriched my perspective on how educators must respond to the unusual conduct of children.
The program also empowered me to reconsider my role as an educator and become a better professional. Previously, I viewed my responsibility as one involving teaching children to be disciplined and encouraging them to adhere to a curriculum and interactions which support the universal developmental goals. Yet, the program made me realize that my approach did not take into consideration the social and emotional outcomes. Thus, I redefined my role as one involving being aware of the needs of each child and their social and emotional situation. I implement many strategies outlined in the course in my work, for instance, I recognize the necessity to guide children’s behavior by providing them with the opportunity to engage in activities that correspond to their interests.
Practice guidelines. (2017). College of Early Childhood Educators. Web.
Kids have stress too! (n.d.). Strong Minds Strong Kids. Web.