Classroom Guidance Policy/Procedure
The Center’s daily schedule, curriculum plans, classroom arrangements, and staffing patterns are designed to promote positive and enjoyable learning experiences, including respectful and trusting relationships among adults and children. When guiding children’s behavior the Lindgren Child Care Center helps children learn acceptable behavior and develop inner controls. A child’s age, intellectual development, emotional make up, and past experiences will be considered in guidance, and consistency will be maintained in setting rules and limits for children.
The following is a list of some child guiding techniques staff members’ use:
- Tell the child what she/he CAN do;
- Establish eye contact when speaking with the child;
- Give choices whenever possible, but only when the child really has a choice;
- Encourage children to solve their own problems and work out conflicts;
- Re-direct a child to another activity;
- Help children learn how to join play.
- Teaching staff never use physical punishment such as shaking or hitting and do not engage in psychological abuse or coercion.
- Teaching staff never use threats or derogatory remarks and neither withholds nor threatens to withhold food as a form of discipline.
You will mostly use one or more of these:
- Redirect child to another activity.
- Remove child from a situation.
- Remove object from child.
- Saying in a positive way what you’re doing.
- Saying “no” from across the room is usually ineffective.
- Instead of a number of staff saying the child’s name, (which gives the child a lot of attention for the behavior) one staff person should move in physically close and take action.
- Immediate action works better than giving directions verbally.
- Staff should be down on the floor close to the babies, and move as the babies move, to prevent situations.
- Develop the ability to watch the entire room.
- Say things in the positive. “Out of your mouth”, “use your fingers,” etc.
- Be specific. Instead of “Be nice” say “Touch gently”.
- Do not expect sharing of infants.
- Use “no” sparingly. Find positive ways to say what the child should do.
- Do not label a child (“naughty” etc.)
Sharing and Limit-Setting
The following are some basic guidelines for appropriate guidance for babies:
Tell the baby what he/she should do, not what he/she is doing wrong.
Do not expect babies to share.
Conflict Resolution Policy for Toddlers
In the toddler room the staff is trained to do the following procedures to help toddlers in conflictive situations and to help the room operate more positively. I feel if a room is surrounded by positive remarks and is consistent, conflicts between toddlers are less.
- Staff are trained to have face-to-face interaction when setting limits, rather than talking from across the room
- Staff should tell toddlers what to do instead of what not to do. Say “walking feet inside”. Instead of “Don’t run or no running”.
- Limit the use of negative words such as “Don’t, Can’t, Won’t, and No” The word ‘”no” sometimes has to be used, however, when a child is causing great harm to a child or to himself.
- The staff will praise the toddlers as much as possible, Catch them doing something good.
- Give choices to a toddler if they are refusing to do something. The choices that you give need to have the same outcome. Ex. Child does not want to wash hands. The staff can say “Do you want to put the soap on your hands or should I” either way the desired outcome will happen.
- If two children are fighting over a toy the staff will find another one of the same toy and give it to the child who wanted it.
- To avoid conflict between toddlers the room has two of every toy, because developmentally toddlers cannot share yet.
- If a child is hurtful with a toy, the child is first told what the toy is used for, but if they continue to hurt again with the toy, then they are removed from that area and redirected somewhere else to play. Ex. A child hits a child with a block; the child is told that blocks are for building only. Child hits again with the blocks, the child is removed to another area of the room
- Staff always show comfort to the child who was hurt first and then address the child who was hurting.
- Staff will teach toddlers to talk instead of hurting. Some words include: Move, My turn, Help.
- Sometime distraction still works, so use it if necessary
- Redirect toddlers when you see a conflict that might take place.
- When giving a direction keep it simple, 2-3 words work the best. Ex. Please walk, wash hands please etc...
- Give toddlers time to comply with requests and limits ( about 10 sec)
- If a child keeps putting toys in their mouth, instead of continuously telling them to keep the toy out of their mouth, give them a teething toy from the refrigerator, they are probably teething.
- Acknowledge the child’s feelings and desires as legitimate even if you cannot give them what they want.
- If a child bites or has another form of consistent hurting behavior, the behavior is documented in a notebook. The staff are instructed to write such details as time, place, which child was hurt and how the staff handled the situation. The lead teacher shares this information with the parent at pick up.
- If a child does bite more than 2 times, then the lead teacher will sit down with the parent or parents and discuss writing up a behavior plan. The behavior plan will have both the teacher’s and the parent’s input. Once the plan is agreed upon by the parents, teacher and director, then the plan is discussed with the staff and implemented in the classroom.
In the process of learning the complex life skills of cooperation, conflict resolution, and acceptable expression of strong feelings, children, like all of us, make mistakes. Guiding behavior is a big part of every teacher’s job. -Dan Gartrell-
The center’s daily schedule, curriculum plans, classroom arrangements, and staffing patterns are designed to promote positive and enjoyable learning experiences, including respectful and trusting relationships between adults and children. To provide for the safety of all children, as well as the individual development of each child’s self-help and self-control skills, teachers maintain daily routines and set limits within each age group. These routines and limits are frequently discussed and defined with the children. Consistency, or knowing what to expect throughout the day, helps children develop a sense of trust and understanding in their environment.
Positive, guiding communication with each child is our primary practice to help children develop a sense of independence, confidence, and competence in their own abilities to get along with peers and adults and to involve themselves positively in classroom activities. Teachers “model” language and appropriate ways for children to express their feelings and emotions. Our belief is that children might show “mistaken” behavior when they do not know how to do it right. Our efforts in guiding children will focus on showing children appropriate behavior.
Preschool Behavior Guidance Techniques
All children are encouraged to “talk” to explain how they feel. Appropriate and positive behaviors are recognized and reaffirmed daily. A teacher’s response to inappropriate or negative behavior may include: ignoring the behavior, reasonably discussing the problem, redirecting the child’s activity, and using clear, firm words to instruct the child about more positive ways to express him/herself. A preschool child might be invited to assist in restoring order as a consequence of some inappropriate behavior. For instance, a child might be asked to help rebuild the block tower of another that was knocked down. Consequences will be constructed with reasonable alternatives rather than punitive punishing responses.
Principles for Guidance of Young Children
Children playing in a group need help and guidance. We use these principles to guide the children:
- We face children when speaking to them.
- We make sure to have the child’s attention before giving directions or making suggestions. Go to him/her; call him/her by name.
- We give positive suggestions. Such as “Please keep the crayons on the table”, rather than “Don’t put the crayons on the floor”. This puts the child in the wrong without suggesting what he should do. The two statements may seem to mean the same thing, but there is a great deal of difference in the way they aid or hinder the child’s actions.
- We avoid comparisons and competitions among children. Children should not feel that their chances for approval depend on being “first” or “best” or beating someone.
- We give logical reasons when reasons are in order. Say “Throwing the ball in the house may hit someone. Would you like to color or play with the blocks now?” Avoid saying, “We do not throw balls in the house”. The child wonders what is meant by “We”, why he has to do as “We” do. He stops to please you or because you make him, without associating any reason or realizing any danger.
- We offer choices where possible. Say “John has the truck now. Would you like to play with the clay or the blocks?” The choice is between playing with the clay or the blocks. Suggesting choices helps in getting the child started to play. If John continues to have a difficult time choosing an activity we may take the child in our lap, talk to him about what he might do, and then go with him to show what can be done with the toy.
- We will not offer choice about routine. When we say “Will you wash your hands now”, we are implying the rest of the sentence, “or not”. Better to say, “Time to wash”.
- The best help forestalls trouble. When two children are playing and a third approaches, a suggestion such as “Here comes Mary and she can help set the table”, or “You can give her one of the picture books” helps them to accept the new child.
- When limits are necessary they should be clearly defined and consistently maintained. We must be responsible for limiting children so that they do not come to harm, hurt others, or destroy property. We will establish methods for limiting the number of participants when safety is a concern.
- We will give the child only as much help as he needs. We will not do things for the child that he/she can reasonably be expected to do for themselves. We may suggest trying one way or another, then let them do it. The results may be a “poor thing, but his own”. However, we will be ready to give help before the child is completely discouraged by too much failure.
Some things we know about children.
- The younger the child, the more quickly he goes from one thing to another.
- The tired child may be overactive and excited.
- Keeping calm helps the child to be more calm.
- If trouble seems to be brewing, a change of activity helps most. This is the time to sing a song, have a drink or water, go for a walk, etc. Redirect before, not after the outburst.
Children need time to change activity or routine. Give “advanced warning” of planned changes. “When you finish your story (your block building, etc.) it will be time to go outside” (or to the bathroom, etc.).