I just spoke with an individual who was volunteering in a church nursery to take care of children while parents were attending a meeting. She described several children who came into the nursery who were insistent their parents should not have left them. With pouting lips, tears and displays of strong will, no one (except their returning parents) could calm them, no matter what. This made attending the meeting difficult for the participants and for the nursery staff.
One thing we know about our brains is they move to another object about every ten minutes. Knowing this, I think it is ironic so many teaching models last 40 minutes to an hour in many schools. How do we think we can actually hold student’s attention span for an entire 40-minute teaching module?
More about brain-breaks and the classroom
I have had conversations with those who speak publically and very few will even think to change their style despite this fact about our brains.
It is a monumental task to try to hold the attention span of any audience, but it is particularly challenging to keep the developing brains of elementary age, middle-grade and high-school students engaged. So, case in point, it is why brain breaks are essential to implement in any longer classroom module or speech to maximize the attention span of the audience. It is how to make what is being taught or said sticky and memorable.
Perhaps you have had moments of regret over a reaction witnessed by someone…particularly if that someone was your child.
The observation role
When our children are witnesses to our more extreme reactions or frustrations, it is both embarrassing and regrettable because of the fear or anguish they experience which follows. Consequently, as we think about creating positive environments, we recognize these environments are largely controlled by parents and caregivers.
Let’s face it, children typically are impulsive, immature, egocentric, and can be frustrating to deal with just because they are beginning their development. Our reactions to circumstances and their behavior can have significant impact to how our children view themselves and their world.
At Lakeside, we teach about the Observation Role for parents and caregivers
NPR recently released this article about a pre-school that stresses the important of Emotional/Social Learning as a way to improve classroom environments and the ability for children to relate to their peers in a positive and supportive way. It is clear that learning and social interaction would improve incredibly if we had more preschools and teachers who are aware and capable to bring this kind of teaching and classroom environment to the children in their care. Below is the complete article by Maanvi Singh and Elissa Nadworny :
When we reflect on the multi-dimensional issues our families and caregivers face, I don’t think we can start early enough or provide enough help and guidance to assist in caring for our children. I have been writing quite a bit about brain-based interventions which can help regulate children’s and student’s brains. While more and more information exists on this topic, we actually still need to find ways to place these interventions so our caregivers and teachers to know what, when, and how to implement them.