Teaching respect and kindness to preschoolers can be encouraged by everyday interactions. Focused and respectful learning definitely contributes to a positive classroom culture. In order to, reinforce trust and respect, teachers need to work and create an environment where children can practice respect in the classroom.
At an early age a child’s brain & their language is still developing so they are not able to control their feelings. Screaming, not sharing, and grabbing, are very common actions for this age group. Proper adult assistance who model respectful behavior plays a big role to shape up their behavior. It takes time to create a respectful classroom environment, but knowing how to help will facilitate the process making it happen.
According to Dr. Demeo
“Being consistent and nurturing are two of the most important qualities adults can offer to help a child develop trust,”
Below are some of the ways a teacher can practice in the classroom to encourage respectful behavior.
Demonstrating Respect: Teachers are the models for the children they teach. In order to foster respect among students, teachers need to encourage respectful behaviors in the classroom. In order to practice respect in the classroom, a teacher should notice the interactions of students and follow-up if something unusual or harmful is happening.
Appreciate Good behaviors: When children express kindness and respect to others, give specific praise for the positive choices they are making. Praise is an effective way to reinforce good behavior.
Teach to say “Thank you and Please”: Talk to children about how to say “please” and “thank you.” Teachers can encourage children to say Please and Thank you when children share toys, sing songs on the rug, and toss a ball on the playground.
Teach Turn taking: Waiting patiently in between conversations is hard for everyone, and is especially hard for the small children. Helping them to patiently wait for a turn to speak or play encourages respectful listening. Playing with the blocks is a great way to practice turn-taking play. Taking turns with a partner is a fun way to work towards a common goal.
Correcting Behavior Respectfully: Sometimes children make mistakes, misbehave, or simply fail to meet our standards. The best way to handle this situation is to make him/her understand the outcome. Children are more likely to improve when we focus on reinforcing what they’ve done right, rather than punishing what they’ve done wrong.