This past few months have really made me appreciate myself as a teacher. We have our ups and downs but sometimes when bigger things come into our lives, we do not really know how to handle it right away. As an adult, I admit, I do not know how to handle some of the things that have popped into my life so what can I expect from a three, four, or five year old child? It may not seem like much to us at the time, but to a child of this age group, change does not come easy. A change in their daily routine can wreak havoc on their emotions, which they are just starting to explore. As we try to make sense of why a child is acting a certain way, that child is having a hard time comprehending their needs and wants. Why is it that they feel sad? Angry? Frustrated? No matter how chaotic the classroom is or how exhausted I am with dealing with the same thing over and over again, I take a deep breath, step back, get down to their eye level, and help them express their emotions.
Use your words. Tell me what you need. I cannot help you if I do not know why you are upset. ….Oh! You are upset because K took your toy. It is okay to get upset but we do not use our hands to hit friends. Where do we keep our hands? Yes, to ourselves. What else could we have done instead of hitting our friends? You’re right, you could have told the teacher. You could have also talked with your friend and said “No thank you. I did not like it that you took my toy”.
It is not always easy and there are days I want to throw in the towel. But I don’t because these kids look up to my TA and I. We spend 6 hours together, five days a week. When they are upset they look to us for support, maybe not right away, but eventually. Sometimes, all they need is a hug that says everything will be okay.