The document Social and Emotional Development Research Background by the Department of Education states that children have the ability to experience emotion, but how they experience it and how they learn to manage it may depend a great deal on the relationship with their primary caregiver(s) and other important adults in their lives, and the early learning environments where they spend their time.
Children spend a great deal of time with educators.Their social emotional development is linked to their age, opportunities with family, peers, teacher, and other social learning situations. The following are tips to ensure students feel safe and welcomed in their learning environment.
1. Be attentive to the needs of your students.
Students learn and thrive in an environment that encourages growth and development with their peers. Some students may need additional emotional support in the morning when separating from a parent. Other students may need additional support with conflict resolution during recess. It is important for teachers to be aware of the needs of their students.
2. Get to know your students and their interests.
Students learn and engage when they are interested. Some students may love talking about their family. Other students may love trucks and buildings. The interests can lead to collaborative learning, such as project based learning and inquiry, which will further develop meaningful learning within the classroom.
3. Be consistent with daily routines and procedures.
Routines and stability are very important for children and help to establish procedures within a classroom. Of course there may be unexpected instances that may happen, such as a fire drill or the spread of a stomach bug. However, when this consistency is established, classroom management becomes more feasible.
4. Transitions, transitions, transitions.
Song and movement are developmentally appropriate ways to engage students during transitions. Reenacting animal movements and singing songs to familiar tunes are a few way to engage students. Furthermore, transitions coincide with daily routines and procedures which, with further help, establish a learning environment.
5. Display pictures of students and their family to provide a welcoming environment.
When children see pictures of themselves, friends, and family in their learning environment, it provides a homey welcoming environment for learning.
Source: Social and Emotional Development Research Background. (2017). Department of Education.