As a homeschooling community we hold on to the idea that "It Takes a Village to Raise a Child" and every teacher’s presence enriches all of us, especially our kids.
This short document is aimed at inspiring and supporting teachers in stepping into a ‘facilitator for learning” role. This is not a set of rules to adhere to or a strict set of expectations. One of the gifts that our children are offered -thanks to each teacher’s contribution, is to be exposed to different and unique human beings with their qualities and limitations.
We are on this journey together.
TIPS FOR TEACHERS
Respect, is one of the six core strengths for wholeness and wellbeing identified by Dr. Bruce Perry, a leading expert on brain development. Appreciating one own self-worth and the value of others is a life long process, yet its roots are in childhood. As homeschooling parents, we have an incredible opportunity to teach respect by modeling it toward our children and among us.
Our brain is designed to be in relationship and children best respond to caring, patient, nurturing, respectful adults. Some key aspects that promote healthy and respectful relationships are:
- Remember that “new” translates into “stressful”. That is true for our youth and also for us adults!
- Non-verbal communication is more powerful than words: smile, eye contact, a soothing gestures and a calm tone of voice are important aspects of being in relationship.
- Spending time with each child, taking them seriously by offering our curiosity and our listening, convey the message that they are important to us.
- Humor and kindness go a long way.
- Play is powerful.
- Meet every child where s/he is emotionally.
- Enthusiastic exploration is not fostered by fear and disapproval.
- With repetition comes mastery. Mastery leads to confidence.
- A safe and responsive environment fosters learning.
- Human beings come with different temperaments and learning styles.
- Regularly take a pulse of the level of energy in the room. Be sensitive to changes in the rhythms of a child’s movement, the tone of voice, intensity of their activity.
- Use children’s primary interests to expand their skills.
- Offer some structure and predictability.
- Support group relationships and team work by structuring dyads/small group interactions.
- When you are reaching your limit, be gentle with yourself and ask for support. That is one of the reasons we teach in teams of two!
In this ever-changing world, our children will face more change, see more places, learn more things and be exposed to more people and cultures than any other generation in history. Modeling tolerance and respect by teaching children about diversity is crucial: different cultures, languages, religions, family backgrounds, learning styles, etc. Avoid stereotypical aspects of a culture. The more tolerant our children become, the easier it will be for them to enjoy what the world has to offer.
Track that some teasing may be a form of verbal play. Make sure it does not cross boundaries and infringes on personal self-worth. Intervene with kindness to redirect comments against other children.
Children are like wet cement. Whatever falls on them makes an impression.~ Dr. Haim Ginott