The development of a child-teacher relationship begins when the child walks through the classroom door. Part of my work as an Early Childhood Mental Health Consultant with Youth Services Network, is encouraging very intentional and purposeful exchanges between a teacher and a child, which creates a powerful interaction. According to the NAEYC, “In early childhood settings, children and teachers interact all day long. The benefits to everyone — teachers and children — will be huge if just some of those “everyday” interactions can become intentional and purposeful Powerful Interactions!”
In a Powerful Interaction:
- The teacher makes a conscious decision to connect with a particular child in order to extend that child’s learning.
- The teacher makes a conscious decision to say or do something that conveys to the child,“I notice you;I’m interested in you; and I want to know you better.”
“I notice you; I’m interested in you; and I want to know you better.”
This moment of personal connection builds upon the trust and security that exists between the teacher and the child. Within a trusting and secure relationship, a child is more open to learn from the guidance and instruction the teacher has to offer. When providers connect with each child, it strengthens the relationship, helping the child become a more engaged and effective learner.