Saturday, July 27, 2013

Child-Guidance Philosophy

Next week, the official school year begins! As I prepare for the new year, I decided to review and share my philosophy on child guidance. I typed a modified version of this to add to my classroom hand book. (Do you have one? I will be sharing more about mine in a future post) I hope you find it a handy resource. 

As you read it, I hope you take the time to reflect on your personal philosophy. 

Is it similar? If your philosophy is so? I love to hear feedback, so share away! 


Child Guidance Philosophy  

I've come to a frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the classroom. It’s my personal approach that creates the climate. It’s my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher, I possess a tremendous power to make a child’s life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a child humanized or dehumanized.”  -Haim G. Ginott

We take care of ourselves first. 
We understand that children learn by example, and that the positive, calm learning environment begins with us.We model the behavior we expect from the children. 

Children should be treated with love and respect.  
We will do our best to create a learning environment in which the child feels safe, loved, and is a respected member of the community. When a child feels valued, his/her self-esteem will soar. Teachers respect the child’s choices throughout the day, while still maintaining expectations that the child is safe, responsible, and respectful.

We understand that children are in the process of learning social skills. 
During this age period, children struggle with self-regulation. We teach them to identify emotions, how to cope with stress, and play together with peers constructively. Children learn through repetition. They NEED to be reminded of the same things daily. We anticipate this, and provide positive visual and verbal cues regularly. 

There is always a reason for the behavior. 
Children rarely act out “for no reason.” As teachers, we strive to find out the reason behind the act to better help the child solve the problem. When misbehavior becomes a habit, this form pretty handy to determine cause of behavior. Action Behavior Consequence Form. You may use it to observe what happened before, during, and after (i.e. how did you handle it?). 

Sometimes re-direction is necessary. 
We help the child find an appropriate choice, and state it in a positive form. “Please walk. It is safe to walk inside.” 

We do not solve the problem for them. 

Instead, we provide them tools to do it on their own. My classroom utilizes this free “Solution Kit" from Vanderbilt University. I love this video from High Scope: Conflict Resolution that demonstrates how to calmly approach a problem in the classroom setting. 

We give positive feedback.
We understand that children need to know what they are doing right. We give descriptive feedback, rather than a generic, "Good job!" For example, if a child shows responsibility by cleaning up his/her mess, we would say, "I see you cleaned up this mess all by yourself! That was very responsible of you!" 


What is your philosophy on child guidance? I look forward to reading your responses!

As always, 
Happy playing!


  1. This is wonderful -the SEFEL principles come out loud and clear in your description. Challenging behaviors are so overwhelming and you have really simplified the process! I'm wondering about adding a piece about descriptive feedback for positive behaviors - which can really lesson incidence. Also, at what point are the parents notified of the behavior and/or are asked to be involved?

    1. Renee,
      You have a great point about the descriptive feedback for positive behaviors!
      As far as communication with parents, I take it case by case. I like to build relationships with my parents before I bombard them with behavior issues.
      Also, I like to have my documentation in order before I talk to parents...that way I have specific incidents to refer to. When I am prepared with written observations, it means I have already taken the time to find the triggers.
      Thanks for the feedback!

  2. Oh Wow! I could copy what you wrote almost word for word. I'm looking forward to reading more about how you organize your parent handbook. I've been meaning to put one together for the last 6 months and still haven't gotten to it yet.

  3. Pennie,

    I am working on nailing down a classroom schedule this weekend. As soon as my handbook is complete, I will share it on the blog. Thanks for your patience!



Thanks for you comment! Happy playing!

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