From the NAEYC Standards:

STANDARD 4. USING DEVELOPMENTALLY EFFECTIVE APPROACHES

Candidates prepared in early childhood degree programs understand that teaching and learning with young children is a complex enterprise, and its details vary depending on children’s ages, characteristics, and the settings within which teaching and learning occur. They understand and use positive relationships and supportive interactions as the foundation for their work with young children and families. Candidates know, understand, and use a wide array of developmentally appropriate approaches, instructional strategies, and tools to connect with children and families and positively influence each child’s development and learning.

Key elements of Standard 4

4a: Understanding positive relationships and supportive interactions as the foundation of their work with young children

4b: Knowing and understanding effective strategies and tools for early education, including appropriate uses of technology

4c: Using a broad repertoire of developmentally appropriate teaching /learning approaches

4d: Reflecting on own practice to promote positive outcomes for each child

How I Strive to Uphold this Standard in my Classrom:

Building Positive Relationships

Please refer to this blogpost  for a story about my work on maintaining positive relationships between myself and the students and among the students. Please refer to this blogpost for an anecdote about building relationships between myself and he children.

I began a blog this Spring. It has proven to be a very useful and very cathartic reflection tool.  In it, I reflect on my students, their needs, my practice, and ways I can better serve the children. The first of these two samples recounts working with kids on behavioral issues. It documents a conversation I had with my class. This conversation demonstrates my practice of meeting the kids where they are, speaking to them  using their language and incorporating their ideas. I also invite them to puzzle out solutions to their own social problems. In getting them to do this, I promote their social-emotional development while simultaneously empowering them as agents of their own community building. 

The second sample depicts an instance in which I worked on building a stronger relationship with students with whom I rarely get to check in. In it I reflect on the importance of taking time to have fun with each student and to put effort into having a personal connection to each child. 

Both samples exemplify my reflective habits and demonstrate that I spend a great deal of time thinking about and trying to improve my classroom practice. 

Curriculum, Differentiation, and Developmentally Appropriate Practices

Please see my Curriculum page to learn more about my approach to designing learning.

This page summarizes the work I did with students during my resident year, 2012-2013. It describes the whole child-centered approach which I employ to help me plan a wide variety of learning activities that cater to different learning needs. It discusses the ways in which I weave play, creativity, and imagination into every day learning. The curriculum I planned emphasized social-emotional growth, encouraged experimentation and play, and simultaneously taught persistence and trial and error through providing challenging moments of academic rigor.

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