Provide an account of your observation:
I was at my sons soccer game watching another parent interact with their child. The little girl wanted to go out into where the kids were playing soccer, wanted to play with the extra soccer balls, and wanted to keep leaving the room to get a drink from the water fountain.
Describe what you noticed and learned:
The little girls mom just kept telling her no. Then the little girl wanted to do those things even more. She would run out into the middle of the soccer game and mom had to go after her. Dad just stood there and watched mom do everything. Mom didn’t have anything for her to play with or to keep her busy but wanted her to sit on the ground with her. Mom had finally had her fill and told the girl that if she didn’t stop being bad she would be in trouble.
Make connections between what you observed and the effective communication strategies presented in this week’s learning resources. What could have been done to make the communication more affirming and effective:
In the video, the teacher interacted with the little girls in the video by speaking to them and asking them questions. She engaged them in conversation and let them experience their ideas. Children need to feel that and to be able to bring they are into the place they are. The mother of this little girl could have done the same thing. Engaging the little girl in a conversation about play or an imaginative scenario could have kept her busy and encouraged her to stay in one spot.
Share your thoughts with regard to how the communication interactions you observed may have affected the child’s feelings and/or any influences it may have had on the child’s sense of self worth:
The lack of positive communication may have affected the child’s feelings in a number of ways. The little girl was only trying to explore her surroundings and be a part of the game her big brother was playing. Her mother may have made her feel bad about herself by calling her “bad” and telling her “no” over and over again. Dad could have interacted with her as well. He could have attempted to start a conversation wit her and play with her.
Offer insights on how the adult-child communication you observed this week compares to the ways in which you communicate with the children. What have you learned about yourself this week with respect to how well you talk with and listen to young children? In what ways could you improve:
When I communicate with children, especially my own child, I talk to them. I explain why not rather than simply saying no. I encourage them to use their imagination and I play along. I think that listening is an area where I can improve. Typically in my own classroom, I have patience but there are times when it gets the best of me and I blow off certain things that children say. When you hear, “He took my pencil!!” or “I was sitting there first!” for the 300th time in one day it tends to make you more frustrated rather than patient. I realize how important it is to always have open and positive lines of communication with children and holding onto my patience is something that I know I need to work more on.
An anti-bias environment invites exploration and discovery, and supports children’s play and conversations in both emergent and planned activities. A culturally consistent environment is important for children and their families and therefore the look and sounds of the environment should reflect the families cultures and daily lives. In my family child care home I would begin with posters and pictures that include the cultures, genders, and races of the children and families but also those that are not a part of the program. Books in the “library” that represent the cultures and daily life of the families are another way to supports the cultures of children and families. This includes cultures, race, age, family structures, economic groups, holidays that are celebrated by my families, and gender. I would love to create a template for a “Book about me” for each family to put together including pictures, that can then be used in the library for each child in the program to enjoy and learn from. There are a number of photo shops that can turn photos into puzzles. I would, with families permission, have puzzles made that the children can play with. It is important to talk to families about what games and sports their child enjoys and to have games and toys for them to play with that reflect their interests.
I love the idea of hanging pictures of the things that we are doing each day for families to enjoy when they pick their child up. This is a way to involves the families in what we are doing all day. I would also include pictures of the children playing and learning all around the room. Ideally, I would like to two have separate areas for the children. One room that would be the quiet room. This is where the children would nap and also place for them to cool down if they are upset. The main room for the center will be set up in an open environment. the carpet that we sit on for circle time in the middle of the room, surrounded by the toys, tables, games, comfortable couches, and snack tables. Everything is together because I like the idea of children still feeling like they are together even though they may be in different sections of the room playing with different things. They can all still see each other. There will be a section that would have the toys for the younger children and the toys for the older children would be separate but still in the same large room to encourage the togetherness.
One hope that I have as I think about families and children who come from diverse backgrounds is that at some point there will hopefully come a time when courses in diversity will not be necessary. I hope that one day, people from all walks of life, all colors, and all sexual orientations feel like they belong. It seems to be a long time away but it is my hope that at some point this is where we end up.
The goal I would like to set for the field of early childhood in terms of diversity, equity, and social justice is that all early childhood educators are educated on what it means to have an anti-bias classroom. This should be something that is a part of all early childhood training and education. Not something learned or a course/program taken by choice. What I have learned through this program would benefit all educators- not just those in the early childhood field.
I would like to thank all of my colleagues for their insight, opinions, and support. It has been wonderful getting to know all of you and connecting through our blogs and discussions. I wish you all the best! Hope to “see” you all in our next class.