Monday, August 13, 2012

The Joy of Teaching Children

Teaching little children can be challenging.  It's a new school year and a new classroom of little three year olds.  This is their first experience of being in a classroom learn.  

It takes time, positive reinforcement and lots and lots of patience.

So what do we focus on in the beginning of the school year?

Good Manners

Good manners are so important.  It cannot be taken for granted. The little ones learn to say 'please' and 'thank you'.  As they are given jobs to perform for the day, Heidi thanks them and they are prompted to say 'you're welcome'.

A High Five chart is highly visible in our classroom.  Each time they are caught using good manners, they receive a star next to their name.  It's too cute to see their smiles when they receive a star.  At the same time, Heidi and I use good manners with each other.  After all, we want to model what we are teaching.

During snack and other meal times, there are many opportunities to practice good manners.

Walking in a Line

Getting from one area of our campus to another can be challenging with a group of three year old children.  So they learn to walk in line. By the end of the school year, this runs very smoothly.  But in the beginning it can be kind of funny.

We sing a little song to help them remember.

"Keep your hands where they belong; in your pockets or behind your back.  Look at the head in front of you.  Catch your bubble."

When they catch their bubble, it reminds them not to talk.  This can be quite the challenge.


It can be so hard for children to listen.  They want to talk when they want to talk.  We teach them to turn on their listening ears.  They practice turning them on for us.  Frequent reminders are needed at first.

As I look at some of the initial teachings that occur in our classroom, I realize that adults need to learn too.
  • How often do you talk when you should be listening?
  • Do you model good manners?
  • Are you careful as to who you follow?

How thankful I am to apply some of these lessons to my own adult life!

I'm continuing to count my every day blessings with Ann of A Holy Experience for Multitudes on Mondays.

#477 The opportunity to teach good manners to children
#478 The first week of school behind me
#479 The excitement of watching the London Olympics
#480 A weekend of much needed rest
#481 The excitement in my dad's voice as he described his new home
#482 Seeing baby pictures of my great niece Kenzie on Facebook each day
#483 Making progress on my eBook
#484 Enjoying the company of my co-workers
#485 Hugs from the children each day
#486 Hearing three year old Sam come up to me and say "I love you Miss Debbie"
#487 Seeing the sweet faces of the children from last year's class
#488 Helping children in older classes with their homework in the afternoon
#489 Watching 7 year old Roxy choreograph a dance as I played a song on my Kindle Fire
#490 Completing the decorating of our condo

I couldn't resist sharing a photo of little Kenzie.  I thought she looked like she was trying to pray.

Blessings and love,

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Denise said...

Awesome post Debbie! You are so right, many adults could learn from your teachings to the children as well. (I am always working om my listening skills!):) Love the picture of Kenzie!

Blessings on the new school year!

Beth in NC said...

Such a sweet post Debbie. <3 Kenzie is beautiful!

I can just see those little ones as you try to herd them like cats. hee hee. I'm sure it is funny in the beginning (and a bit frustrating). They are so blessed to have you.

Have a wonderful week and a blessed school year!

Dianne said...

Beautiful post, Debbie. It reminded me so much of my teaching days left many years behind now--I thrived on all those hugs I received from the kiddos.

You are doing an admirable work--your true rewards are in heaven for being patient and loving with these precious three year olds. What a gift you are to them!

bluecottonmemory said...

We have loved the olympics, too! What a blessing for these children tohave someone with your heart! I love the catching a bubble - just love it! Wishig you much blessing this new school year!

Stefanie Brown said...

What a sweet list! Sounds like you had a great first week of school. So grateful for you.

Have a great week, my friend!

Heidi said...

I love how you brought up the fact that we as adults need to have our listening ears on. So true. This years training of the kiddos is going very smoothly- I think we must be very awesome, Debbie! If only the parents would be this cooperative!

Debbie said...

Loved hearing what you are teaching the kids...soo important, and unfortunately so neglected these days by some parents. Everyone is always soo busy it seems to take the time.

Kenzie is just adorable, and your right, she does appear to be saying her prayers! : )

Miriam said...

Great post and reminder for me, too! Love little Sam's words straight to your heart... so precious.
It's too bad that businesses don't have a manners chart. Though they have performance charts, yes,but not manners.
So happy for your dad! I look forward to seeing the remolding of your condo, too! Did you post pics on fb?
Blessings & love!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

All good reminders to me as I endeavor to keep in line with Jesus! I'm homeschooling this year, so I have my own classroom of sorts. Funny, I'm saying some of these same things to my 11 & 10 year old. We're having a good time.

Praying tomorrow's a good day for everyone.


Susan Stilwell said...

What a sweet post, Debbie. I miss those days of having little ones around! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog on Monday!
Blessings on the rest of your week!

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