As a future teacher it is important the we not only ensure that children are academically prepared for the ‘real world’, we much also ensure that they are able to develop in a way that is healthy to their minds and social being as well as their physical being.
When it comes to a persons social well being we can start by looking at their relationships and environment that helped them be the person that they are as an adult. Dr Suzanne Zeedyk in the video ‘Brain Development’ she states what not only does a children’s development depend upon their genetics but also their relationships and how they respond to these relationships.
From watching this video by Dr Zeedyk I learnt that compared to animals, human babies have a shorter gestation period and this is due to evolution. Babies grow to the right size to be birthed with ease and when their brains are less developed, making their brains more ‘flexible’. This flexibility does have its advantage in that children are able to develop in a way to help them cope with their environment or in any circumstances they may face. This is how they are able to learn languages, how to express emotions or how to cope in difficult situations. The disadvantage is that once a child has become used to a certain environment it can be hard for them to adapt to an unfamiliar one. I feel this explains why children who perhaps come from challenging environment such as domestic violence, carry this into their adult years and causing conditions such as depression and anxiety. Additional stress in early years can also affect a child’s ability to notice and take on new information slowing their learning.
So… as a teacher we play a part in helping ensure that a child can adapt to different environments. Again going back the domestic violence example, a child may come into the classroom and due to their situation at home, be on high alert and unable to relax for fear of ridicule or violence. To combat situations like this we as teachers must ensure that the classroom environment is one that is safe, calm and predictable. But also we much assure that we are reassuring to our pupils that if they do get an answer wrong, or if they don’t know at all that this is not a bad thing and is something we can help them learn.
Positive reinforcement is something that is very important to remember when teaching a group of such impressionable people. We must not always focus on what is negative. Even if the child does something this is unacceptable, such as hitting another child, we must never scold or berate them but rather talk to them and explain to them what they did and why it was wrong and what will be re repercussions if they do it again.
I know this will not be something east to so when I enter into my teacher journey, but rather it is something I must constantly work on. No two days will ever be that same but it is important that I try and be as prepared as possible for any situation that may be thrown my way, good or bad.