Want to try attuned communication with your kids so you don’t have to rely so much on traditional classroom management techniques? Listen to this interview with Laura Fish, it’s got tons of great advice for building up our kids, giving them confidence and strengthening executive function through conversation!
Today’s interview is with Laura Fish. Laura has a Bachelors degree in psychology and a Masters degree in Counseling. You can find out more about her and her coaching and counselling services, based in San Marcos, California, at Laura Fish Therapy.
Laura started out 20 years ago as a preschool teacher, then became a mental health consultant for public, private and Head Start early education centres. This included partnering with child welfare and special education departments on behaviour support services for special needs or at-risk children. For the past 7 years Laura has been training early childhood teachers and coaches on the evidence-based framework called The Teaching Pyramid. Laura looks at education and child development through the lens of interpersonal neurobiology, which in simpler terms means, looking at health and well-being through the connection between mind, brain and relationships.
What’s wrong with the term classroom management?
Laura, it’s wonderful to have you on the podcast today, thanks so much for chatting with me!
Thanks for having me, Liz! I’m a big fan of your podcast, so it’s exciting to be on!
The term ‘classroom management’ is widely used in education but I know you’re not a fan of that phrase. Can you explain what it is about the term ‘classroom management’ that concerns you and what you think is a better alternative, and why?
Oh sure! The way we speak about something, the words we use, impact how we think, feel and behave.
So, if teachers are focusing on “managing” the classroom, they tend to be in a reactive frame of mind. They’re scanning for what is going wrong and trying to fix it or manage it. If you’re always scanning for danger, looking to manage, looking to fix, you are vulnerable to feeling overwhelmed, helpless, and burned out because it’s where you’re casting the spotlight of your attention, on problems.
So, I encourage teachers and parents alike to continue to scan for safety. We do want to keep our kids safe, of course, but we remember to balance that out with also looking for what’s going well when you are scanning.
Moving on from management to child development
This requires adults to reframe their role from one of “managing behaviour” to that of developing the child’s skills: which skills can we teach children to promote social, emotional, and academic growth, as well as prevent challenging behaviour.
In this way, adults may remain in more of an open, receptive frame of mind, seeking to teach versus manage. The focus is on the child’s development versus classroom management or home management.
And the funny thing is when teachers and parents do shift in this way, the classrooms end up being managed because they are teaching children the skills they need to prevent the teachers from having to manage them so much in the first place.
And the other big benefit for this is teachers’ stress or parents’ stress decrease over time because you don’t feel like you’re constantly putting out fires.
Changing our mindset
So, what you’re saying is that when we think about it as classroom management, it puts us in a negative framework of thinking instead of the positive?
You got it exactly, Liz.
The way we start to frame things, either in the classroom or in the home, absolutely sets up what we are going to see, how we are going to see or how are we going to behave.
It’s a trick to get you into a more open, receptive mindset. It doesn’t mean you’re not looking for safety, it doesn’t mean that your classroom won’t be managed, but it means that that’s not what you’re going to set yourself up for. It’s child development versus classroom management. It’s amazing how that seems to shift for teachers and parents alike.
What is attuned communication?
In your role as an educational consultant you talk a lot about attunement, that teachers need to be attuned to their kids. What does this mean exactly? And what are the long-term benefits of being attuned?
When I encourage teachers or parents to engage in attuned communication with their children, it can simply mean that the adults look to tune into the child’s perspective as they engage with them.
That’s a new concept for some people, perspective taking. So, what is the child thinking, feeling, sensing, imagining in this moment? Be curious, slow down, tune in.
It goes beyond just paying attention to a child. It’s more than that. It’s engaging fully with openness, receptivity, and focal attention, so we’re not time-splitting.
We can’t be attuned through devices
So, in the classroom it’s not so much a problem with devices, that’s more of a parent thing where they’re splitting their time with the computer, or the phone or all our devices. We do have to use our devices, but we’re not attuned to children when we’re communicating with them or connecting with them and splitting our time, time sharing.
More difficult with larger numbers
But in the classroom, it can be very difficult because there’s typically one teacher or three teachers maybe here in the States, with 24 kids. Or if you’re in K through… whatever, it’s one teacher, so it’s really hard to have that attuned communication. The more we have attuned communication, the less challenging behaviour we have.
Long term benefits of attuned communication
- Children have the opportunity to feel seen, heard and understood.
- Helps them develop the sense of belonging and significance, which is tantamount to well-being in children and adults.
- Fosters a trusted connection which…
- will allow adults to guide children and scaffold their learning.
In this way, attunement is at the core of secure attachment and it’s a framework for communication between adults and children.
1. We help kids tune in to themselves
One of my mentors, Daniel Siegel, uses a beautiful phrase to describe adults’ role with children. He says we help them “enter the world of knowing the mind,” which is a beautiful, elegant way of describing children becoming intrapersonally attuned or tuning into their own thoughts, feelings, sensations, images. This ability to tune in to one’s self really begins and develops from interpersonal attunement or having adults engage with you in this manner.
How can it work in larger groups?
That’s quite interesting. You have one teacher in a class and sometimes it’s very difficult because it’s quite time-consuming, isn’t it? It’s really difficult sometimes to get those one-to-one relationships.
And so what’s really great in the coaching work that I do in the classroom is encouraging teachers that you don’t even need to have the one-to-one time.
And in fact, especially for the pre-school children, one of the big things we’re trying to teach is peer-to-peer connection.
So how can you build and be attuned with children in groups, in small groups? In large groups, it’s harder, so say it’s a teacher, one teacher with 25 kids at circle time. It’s really difficult to have attuned communication. It’s still possible, but it can happen in just a small group.
Small group time
So, considering the perspective of the three or four kids with you, being curious about what’s going on with them, asking the open-ended questions, reflecting, narrating, it doesn’t have to be one-on-one.
2. A child’s internal narrative
So, you’re saying that if teachers practice attuned communication with their kids, if they’re really getting to know who their children are, that that actually helps the children understand themselves?
Absolutely. So, one of the things that I focus on is the internal narrative of the child. What’s the story children are learning about themselves?
Because there’s a lot of research out there that shows that children lose focus if they’re not making gains in school, and the worst-case scenario is that they get in trouble and then end up in some sort of adolescent, juvenile delinquency situation.
A lot of times you can track back that the story they have about themselves is very negative and so when we’re actually helping children tune into their strengths, tune into their likes, their dislikes, even tuning in to:
- You know what? It’s really hard for me, this math, but I’m working on it, I try, I do my best.
So, it’s not that we never focus on struggles, it’s just that we are tuning in with openness and receptivity to all they’re asking about it.
It puts children in a position of casting their gaze inwards, and then it helps them when they have that sense to themselves to also connect with others.
3. Improved executive function
Another long-term benefit of attuned communication that comes from the field of interpersonal neurobiology, which is also a field that Daniel Siegel created, is that attuned communication is one of the functions of the pre-frontal cortex.
- This is believed to be the executive function centre of the brain
- responsible for myriad functions in the mind, brain and the body.
- most notably the ability to
- carry out tasks…
- while managing emotions, resolving conflicts and shifting gears when necessary.
These are executive functions.
Attuned communication develops the pre-frontal cortex
So when adults are engaging in attuned communication children are given the opportunity to develop this important area, the brain, by exploring their mind, what they think and feel, deciding as they play, as they come up against challenges, as they try to carry out their plans.
So, activating their pre-frontal cortex through attuned communication will help the child build the integrative fibers in the brain to assist with these skills.
Back to our internal narrative
I really like this concept of helping a child have a positive mental view of themselves. So many of us look at the negative within our own selves, I know that within myself, I’m sure a lot of adults feel that as well, and the thought that as a teacher, we can help change that self-discussion that a child has about themselves, that’s a really powerful message.
Absolutely! Lev Vygotsky was quoted as saying, “thought is language turned inward.” It’s really galvanized me to be circumspect about how I can support teachers and parents and taking a look at how they’re communicating with children.
A lot of times I get push back on that by saying, “You’re just spoiling the child. All you want to do is validate the child.” That’s not true.
We do want to help children look at all aspects of their behaviour, their strength, the things that they’re not good at, but foundationally, we want children to feel good about themselves.
Jane Nelsen, author of “Positive Discipline,” also said, “where do we get the crazy idea that children need to feel bad in order to do good?”
It’s just not true, she’s brilliant. She said it years ago, and she’s written over twenty books about that and neuroscience is backing her up.
We do better when we feel better. So that internal narrative comes from the adults that we have in our lives and then later on, also from ourselves, what we cultivate, what we grow, what we think about ourselves and then from our peers.
What is contingent communication?
You also put a great emphasis on contingent communication. What does that mean?
Contingent communication is one aspect that’s being attuned. There’s a lot of ways to engage in attuned communication, but contingent communication is one aspect.
I describe it simply that communication is directly related to, or tied to, the child’s experience in the moment.
So, what you say is contingent upon what the child is saying, feeling, or conveying to you.
Contingent communication is an umbrella term for many communication strategies that adults use every day. For eg:
- open-ended questions
- acknowledging and validating emotion
- acknowledging appropriate behaviour you want the child to repeat.
I’ll give you an example from an observation recently in a pre-school classroom, and it’s kind of a pedestrian example but it’s fun.
A little girl came in, she was super excited to be, it’s a pre-school program, and she was super excited to be there. She runs up to her teacher and she says:
Girl: I had pizza for dinner last night.
Teacher: Pizza for dinner? You look excited about that!
Girl: Yes, it was pepperoni and cheese and I didn’t give any to my sister!
Teacher: You love pepperoni and cheese. What happened when your sister didn’t get any?
Girl: Well, my mum gave her some and we ate the whole pizza.”
Teacher: You ate the whole pizza? How did you feel after?
Girl: Good. I played with my toys then.
So, very, very pedestrians about pizza but it’s a beautiful, rich example of the teacher being attuned to the child using contingent communication such as reflection.
She just said back what the child said to her:
- Validating emotion: You look excited!
- Open-ended questions: What happened? How did you feel?
- and then she just captured communication with the child contingent upon the child’s perspective the whole time, which encouraged the child to tell the story of her experience.
Why extend our conversations with kids?
That’s interesting to me because when you’re in early childhood, they are often the most common kind of conversations. The kids come in, and they just randomly go off on a tangent, and as the teacher, we have to make the choice.
Do I just cut off at that sentence and go back to what we’re learning or what we’re doing, or do I extend that conversation?
Sometimes it can feel like you have to be careful not to rob Peter to pay Paul.
We do want to help children with focal attention and to engage in meaningful learning by going deeper with what is at hand.
But this example, this very piece of conversation:
- IS building the integrative fibers in the brain and so much more.
- She’s feeling felt
- she’s feeling seen
- she’s feeling hurt
- she’s feeling her story matters
- SHE MATTERS.
And then she is also building the integrative fibers because she’s building intrapersonal attunement:
- she’s learning more about herself
- she’s integrating that story that happened the previous day
- and interpersonal attunement with an adult
- There’s so much happening in the brain in just that simple communication.
And the other thing that reminds me of is, we always have children in our class who are quieter, who are shy or who don’t like to talk much, and if we’re really thinking about this kind of communication, we’re going to be even more on the lookout for any chance we can take to develop any kind of conversation with these children.
You got it, Liz.
Academics versus chit chat!
I don’t know about this in Australia or other parts of the world you can tell me, but here in the States, we’re very focused of school readiness, getting kids ready.
Many times for teachers the first thing they’re thinking of is the academic piece.
It’s so important to write letters, numbers, concepts, Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, STEM learning – all important.
But we know that the social and emotional is the HOW of learning THAT SUPPORTS the WHAT.
Chit chat enhances academics
So that these types of attuned communication interaction using contingent communication can help build the parts of the brain that the children need to learn that science, technology, engineering, math, shapes, letters, numbers.
It’s a both / and situation. Everyone always says it’s a throw off comment.
- It’s all about relationships.
- It’s about attuned relationships.
- It’s really important.
There’s a lot of pressure from on top for teachers to do all that academic stuff so finding that balance is difficult. But with attuned communication, I suppose you are taking every moment that you can to get that relationship time with the children.
It’s really just foundational.
Children learn through experiences and relationships
It’s the core of learning, development, growth. I just really love what neuroscience has given to our field because a lot of times, and I know I felt this as a preschool teacher, I felt that pressure even from parents. “Where’s the homework? Where’s the worksheets that you’re doing?”
And we were play-based! I knew intuitively, I mean this was 20 years ago, I knew intuitively this was good and we had researched the support, but now there’s just a plethora of research.
Children learn through this play, they learn through the richness of their experience, their stories, the connection with adults, and those are the building blocks, you’ll build the parts of the brain that will later help them go deeper with numbers and letters and patterns.
Children learn through trust and security
If they don’t feel secure, if they don’t feel like they’re in a place where people care for them, they’re going to block off those learning centres, aren’t they?
Absolutely. The trust and the connection opens children up to be in the learning stance. Just like I was saying earlier that if teachers are scanning for what’s going wrong, if teachers are trying to manage, they’re not in an open receptive stance themselves.
We want everybody to kind of be in this place. We can’t be there all the time. We go in and out, but best practice is what we’re hoping for for children and for the adults.
How hard is it to re-frame our thinking?
Most teachers have their own mental toolkit for managing kids… methods we’ve used over the years that we stick to because they’re familiar, or because they seem to generally work OK. In your experience, how flexible are teachers to adapting their management approach? How difficult is it to re-frame how we think about the kids in our class and how we intentionally alter our daily interactions?
Change can be challenging for adults, even when they think what they’re doing isn’t working.
Teachers would come to me and say “Help me Laura, this isn’t working.” So, you would think, Ok great, they’re prime, they’re ready to open up and change.
It’s still challenging.
When they feel the strategies they’re using ARE working, it can be even harder to scaffold their growth and encourage them to try on new approaches.
Life is about habits and teachers have some habits just like everybody for:
- how they engage with kids
- what they believe is working
- what they’re comfortable with
They don’t want to let go of this.
Shame and blame is not the best option
A lot of teachers are using strategies that I like to call shame and blame strategies or punishment strategies to manage children.
They might find it really hard to reframe their approach into developing the child, switching from management to developing.
And by shame and blame, it doesn’t have to be what people might consider really harsh language.
What I mean by shame and blame is language I constantly hear in the classroom such as:
- You aren’t being friendly.
- You aren’t sharing.
- That’s not being nice.
- You aren’t listening.
- You aren’t being safe.
So, over time this type of narrative, this type of language, may be internalized by the child, and you can see how such messaging would deflate a child’s sense of self.
All the messages about how “I’m doing it wrong” and “I’m not good.”
Adults think this is helping the child sometimes because they feel it manages the classroom or the home.
The work I’ve done for the past decade with an approach called The Teaching Pyramid really builds upon this idea that we want to avoid harping on the child for what they’re NOT doing well and instead focus on teaching the child what to do instead.
So, it takes a really knowledgeable coach, who’s tapped into the latest findings in the field, who also has good interpersonal skills to work with teachers or therapists with parents, to really help them explore brain development in children and help them understand the brain and mind reasons why attunement and communication are important approaches.
And why directions, corrections, reminders and punishment may actually impede or slow down the development of children and the management of classrooms.
Are our management techniques building child up?
Are there traditional classroom management practices that we should keep in our toolkit? I’m assuming you’re not suggesting that we throw everything away?
No, definitely not. Classroom practices in general that are focused on child development, which includes discipline, can stay, absolutely.
The important piece is, for teachers and parents, they may need to consult with someone to vet those practices in order to make sure they actually are not relying just on habit, what they’ve always done, because that might not be in alignment with what neuroscience tells us is in the best interest of the child’s brain and mind.
Formal assessment tools
In the States we have assessment tools such as the ITERS or the ECERS or the CLASS Tool that are intended to help early childhood education staff design their classroom to promote socio-emotional development, academic learning and prevent challenging behaviour.
Try to avoid
I’m not suggesting to throw it all the way, but things like telling a child:
- You aren’t being safe
- stop hitting
- no running
- using time out
- or having one of those behaviour management systems that look like a stoplight, they’re like green, yellow, red
They’re actually reactive versus proactive, or managing versus teaching, and over time, all of these can actually be deleterious to the child’s developing sense of self.
They don’t teach the child what to do, instead they just simply point out what they’re doing wrong.
I typically tell teachers when they bristle at that, that I was taught all of those things. Teachers are not bad people, they’re doing what they know.
So it’s just guiding them to learn something different and make that shift, which could be difficult because it’s not a habit yet. I ask them to go into a different place from themselves sometimes, but I use the parallel processes.
What if we were on the stoplight system?
So if I came into your classroom and I just pointed out all the things you were doing wrong – if I said:
- stop yelling
- your circle’s not engaging
- your transitions are too long
- your lesson isn’t interesting
- and then I put them on yellow or red until they were “better”
How would they learn what to do instead?
The downside of the stoplight system
I remember reading once, I think she was a blogger and her child was in a class where they did that, and her child came back feeling really bad about herself, and that was when it hit her – “Oh my gosh, I shouldn’t be using this in my classroom because look what it’s done to my own child.”
I think that’s a beautiful example. I think when it hits home like that, it’s really powerful.
If people are doubting, they should do some research about it. I’ve had children in my private practice with trichotillomania, pulling out their eyelashes and eyebrows over the stress of those systems.
I’ve read the research about the anxiety that it can promote, and one of the problems with the system, there are multiple, but one of the things that you just go into a classroom that has that, watch the teacher.
The teacher is not able to use the system how it’s intended. I still don’t like them even if you could, but you can’t. You can’t possibly be monitoring 24, 27, 35 kids sometimes. If they’re on yellow, you’re not able to see every single thing they do to bring them back own to green, or to put them up to red.
What typically happens, the child who’s on the red or on the yellow stays there for a really long time, and the teachers miss many, many times that they could be brought down to green.
It isn’t even really clear what to do, is that a green behaviour? Or is that a yellowish-green behaviour?
They’re just super-problematic, but the lived experience for the child is that it can really promote anxiety, and it gets them to focus on “I have to be perfect,” so there’s not a growth mindset, it’s not the “I am trying, I’m not there yet”, it’s a “Be there now!” and that’s not fair to kids.
Can all children be successful with the stoplight system?
One issue I have with that is that it’s much easier for some children to be in green, and for other kids it’s almost an impossibility, and so you’re making things much more difficult for the children that actually need a bit more flexibility. It’s just like with academics, some kids find it easy and some kids find it really, really difficult. So are we really seeing our children for who they are? Because they can’t all fit into one way of doing things.
You got it. It’s punitive, its shame and blame, it’s punishment, it’s not child development, its child management, and I don’t even think it’s effective as a management tool. It’s not just me, it’s the research that shows that.
Yes, because I’m sure that a lot of teachers try to do it in a way that’s positive, but unless you’re in the mind of that child who’s nearly always on orange or red, do we really see that it’s upsetting them so much, or are they just pretending they’re fine with it, or perhaps they start acting out.
Absolutely, no question. A real-life example is my nephew’s teacher uses that. I can’t remember if he was in kindergarten or first grade, but everyone was really excited that he was on green, but then asking him what he did to be on green, “I don’t know”. You know, I don’t even know, they don’t even know. It’s not really relevant to the child They just know there’s this thing out there that they’re trying to achieve and they can’t even describe to you what it means.
So we’re not even using the tool the way it should be used.
And there’s much better tools. We want to teach children to be “on green”. Let’s teach them what those behaviours are and let’s give them a path to get there.
Like I said, if we’re practicing full inclusion, if we’re saying everybody is in our classroom, the path for one child’s going to look different from the path of another child, so we have to be very circumspect about that.
How can I stay attuned to my kids over the long-term?
If I want to be more attuned to my kids but I’m worried that I’ll only keep it up for a week, what actions can I take to try and keep myself accountable to keep at it for the long term? To keep moving forward with this approach
My suggestion is always for teachers or parents to have lasting change is you have to really focus on first versus second order change.
First order change
First order change is you do something because someone told you it’s a good idea, you listened to a podcast or you went to a training or someone seemed to know what they were talking about, and you say “I’m going to try that!”
But you don’t really understand the how or the why. You don’t really understand exactly the meaning behind it, or you think you might just try. You can try, get it out there, start trying, but keep in mind you really want to marinate in it
You want to figure out what it is, why it’s important.
In the case of attunement and contingent communication, how do those concepts promote socio-emotional development and prevent challenging behaviour?
See where it may bump up against your values, perceptions and beliefs, because in my experience as the coach to teachers, therapists and parents. Change is thwarted or stops completely if an adult tries on a new strategy and does not believe in it.
It simply won’t last. He or she will revert to habit, whatever’s comfortable, what’s believed to be effective.
Second order change
An easy example in the field of early childhood is visual schedules. Many teachers put up visual schedules because they’re taught, right? They think they should do it. So, this is first order change, great, get it up there.
But when I go to classrooms, the teachers typically don’t either use them consistently, or they can’t tell me how using them promotes socio-emotional development and prevents challenging behaviour.
In other words, they don’t know the WHY behind using them, and often they know only one way or one reason to use them. When visual schedules can help promote a range of skills, there’s a range of ways to use them.
So, they haven’t made a second order change. But this takes time for reflection and time is something I hear over and over again is a challenge. It really is.
How can I measure my level of attunement?
Is there any way to measure whether what we’re doing in the classroom is having an effect?
Absolutely, myriad ways, formal and informal measurements. An informal way that I do it is when I go into a classroom, I literally close my eyes, I take away the visual stimulus and I listen.
What kinds of words am I using?
I’ll hear a lot of directions, corrections and reminders. It sounds like:
- Remember, use your walking feet
- only 3 children in the block area
- Samuel! Samuel! You need to share!
- You aren’t being very friendly right now
- that’s only for 2 people, make another choice
It’s the tone, the sound, the actual language in the classroom.
The child is living in a world of directions and corrections or reminders, or worse, in a world of NO, DON’T, STOP.
So, in classrooms where the teachers are shifting towards “Teach me what to do instead,” it will sound different, so you can just informally just stop and listen.
Ask open-ended questions
One simple strategy I recommend to teachers for increasing this attuned communication for measuring it is tune into, anytime you’re compelled to give a direction, a correction, or a reminder, try asking open-ended questions instead.
If you want the child to wash her hands before meals, whether at home or at school, and saying “Go wash your hands,” which is a direction, try asking them “What do we need to do before we eat?”
Or instead of “put all the toys away before we go outside,” switch to “it’s almost time to go outside, what do we do before we go?”
When you do this, not only will you salvage the relationship with the child because you aren’t just the director/ corrector, but you’re activating the parts of their brain that require the child to think. That’s what open-ended questions do. That’s the way they can monitor how many directions and corrections they give, versus open-ended questions and that’s the way to measure contingent communication.
That’s a good idea because we don’t realize just how many directions are coming out of our mouth.
I know I mentioned before, here in the States we have the ITERS and ECERS and the CLASS, other assessments that measure the quality of the early childhood education classroom and those don’t often use the actual term “contingent communication” or “attuned communication.”
The strategies they recommend are strategies to promote those concepts.
Attuned communication: making the effort
Sometimes in the classroom, when we’re in a situation of high stress, for example you have a child who’s biting, screaming, and throwing things around the room, or even if we’re just trying to get our group from one place to another, it all seems much easier to issue orders and try to force compliance. How can we reframe our thinking so that we’re more likely to stop and consider the specific children that are in front of us?
It’s so important, you know? I think people who have never been in a classroom can’t even imagine how stressful it can get for teachers and there’s so much at stake.
We want to keep the kids safe, we have licensing issues, there’s so much pressure on teachers. There’s so much compassion for that.
In reframing thinking, first of all, getting someone to validate that is really important. I think teachers really, really need that respect.
And then helping them reframe thinking is indeed the first step and perhaps the hardest because our beliefs may be entrenched.
We’re tied to them and reframing can feel to adults like you are telling them what they are thinking, what they are seeing and what they’re feeling and doing is wrong.
This really has occurred to me in the last 5-6 years of my work when I’m thinking, “I’m trying to help, I’m just trying to help you to reframe,” but implicit is that suggestion. I’m not saying it overtly, but it’s implied. So, we really have to have compassion for teachers and parents about that. I’m always mindful of this when I’m working with them.
We’re working with humans, not Hondas so there’s no step-by-step manual. We have to be open and receptive to constantly updating our thinking, individualizing our approach based on the unique developmental trajectory of the child in front of us.
Reframing is simply looking at the situation from another perspective as the first step. Again, it’s another challenging piece because teachers don’t get a lot of this thinking reflection time, and they are under pressure.
But when you do engage, when you do DO this, when you take the time to do this, you are considering the child more from a humanistic contextualized stance which opens you up to so many more possibilities.
What do you think about teachers feeling like they can’t speak openly to their colleagues about struggles they’re having in this area? I feel like if your colleagues can support you and help you to think through these issues, say you have a particular child in your class that is really difficult and you feel like you’re struggling to have that attuned communication, how important is it to try and develop those collegial relationships to feel like we’re not alone in our classroom?
It’s a lifeline for teachers, isn’t it? I mean we talk a lot about the parallel process.
Everything that we’re giving out and doing for children, we really want staff to do that.
- Do we have attuned communication with each other?
- Are we working on the relationships with each other
- Are we creating that sense of safety, of trust, of connection?
We’re in this together. This is hard for all of us. It’s really important, and it’s also nurturing the nurturer, that’s an important aspect of it.
To do this work, we need to be really integrated. We need to be intact. It’s incredibly challenging, so I often do trainings that are parallel process trainings. How can we do this with each other?
Laura, it’ been really fantastic talking to you today, thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and experience with us at The Early Childhood Research Podcast. Thank you so much for being here.
Thank you so much, Liz, it was my pleasure.
That’s it for our chat with Laura about the importance of really tuning in to each of our children individually. If you enjoyed this episode please go to iTunes to leave a rating and review, it helps others find the podcast.
The Education Podcast Network
This podcast is part of The Education Podcast Network. Podcasts by educators. Podcasts for educators. To check out more in education, including other early childhood focused podcasts, go to edupodcastnetwork.com.
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