Friday, April 5, 2019

 One of my long time professional goals has been for the children to believe that their intellect and natural talent are just the beginning of their potential.
This can be best accomplished by helping the children develop habits of discovery and perseverance.
When they add dedication and hard work, they create resilience and a love of learning that will guide them toward greatness.
If skills and activities are done consistently, they become habits.
Once it becomes a habit, the child will just automatically revert to a growth mindset perspective every time it is needed in life.
What is resilience and perseverance in preschool?

Perseverance doesn’t have to conjure an image of a sweaty brow.
It can be a child working day after day mastering holding a pencil.
The child receives the lesson in holding the pencil.
The child repeatedly hears the gentle reminder to “pinch the tape.”
The child adjusts his grip. The child falls back to a fist grasp and is given a gentle reminder. Back and forth this is played out until one day, one week the child has mastered holding the pencil (or marker) properly.
We reinforce the practice of habit building with encouraging phrases saying: You are learning/
This is new, you’ll get it/You have really been working hard at that, and now you are doing it.
Once they have mastered something, we help our friends stretch their skills just a bit more.
As we layer on new uses for known skills and present new skills, we are showing the children they are continually growing and learning.
We are so fortunate to witness these young peacemakers using the skills we share with them to solve problems respectfully and with love.
There can be situations that can bring stress and worry to them.
Resilience in a preschool classroom occurs when a child experiences something unexpected and realizes he is capable of getting through it without a great deal of stress or worry.
One friend experienced this when his mom was delayed for dismissal.  It was a new and different experience for him.  He was not happy, he was concerned. He felt unsure.  I told him, he was safe, he could handle it.  I believed in him.  He told me what he felt he needed- time to think and breathe.
We waited for his mom together, quietly.  As mom walked to the door, I said quietly,"I knew you could do it."
One of the most exciting growth moments to witness is when a friend decides how they will respond to the NO they received.
THIS has been very impressive to watch.
We can, and have been empathizing with them, when their faces suddenly droop or pinch upon hearing NO when things have not gone their way.
Resilience is built when they decide what to do next. Do they stay in grief? Do they move deeper into anger? Do they search for a solution?
We help them acknowledge that they didn't get what they wanted. We encourage them to think about what they can do.  We assure them that we believe in them and in their capability.
 It may take some time, but we have observed that our friends know what will settle their hurt and bring them a sense of peace.

The Gan is a garden, we plant seeds that grow with practice and time and love.

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