- Challenging behaviour children are children that disrupts, annoy or get into a disagreement with other people, be it the teachers or their peers. Some also do not interact with the others (McTiernan, 2011). Positive behaviour is being sociable with peers and being able to listen to instructions. In a class, there are bound to have a mixture of both positive and challenging behaviour. Management of the challenging or positive behaviour of children is not the only influence for the child’s behaviour. The arrangement of the physical space also does matter.
Different environment is needed for different kind of activities, when the children is doing languages or maths, a quiet environment is needed as the children needs to think and absorb the information. However, when it is time for play, the environment would be noisy. These two activities need to be put at a separated place as the noisy activities might disrupt the quiet activities. In the childcare centre that I am attached in, the quiet and noisy activities are separated. When they arrange the activities in this way, the children would develop a positive behaviour as they feel comfortable in what they are doing.
Shelves used in childcare or kindergartens should be low as it is crucial for the teacher to keep their eyes on the children at all times. Shelves are used as a partition for different learning centres and storage space in a childcare or kindergarten (Hodge, 1997, p.10). The shelves in the childcare centre that I am attached in also has low shelves so that the teacher can always see the children and the children can also reach for the toys easily. When the teacher keep an eye on the children at all times, it would prevent challenging behaviour as the children knows that they are being watched by their teachers.
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Tapes are also used as a sign for boundaries, some centres also has footprints to show the children some pathways from a certain place to another (Kaiser, Rasminsky, 2007, p.105). However, there isn’t any tapes nor foot prints in the childcare I am attached to. Therefore, it does not seem to have any boundary for any learning corners. This triggers challenging behaviour as children not to know where the different centres are and they will start to be rowdy.
- Social context is when there is friendliness, cooperation and cohesiveness involved. With this three components, it would add up to a sense of community. A community is where one can feel a sense of belong and they all work towards a goal that they all have. When children are friendly with each other, challenging behaviour will not occur so often. This is so as they feel that they are included and they will feel happy. Cooperation is essential in preventing challenging behaviour as with cooperative activities, children with challenging behaviour would tend to behave not so aggressive and corporate (Kaiser, Raminsky, 2010).
Being a teacher would mean that there is a need for one to set a good example for the students. They should be caring and be able to lend a listening ear to the children. When the children see that their teachers are so friendly, they will then feel encouraged to behave positively. When children behave positively, challenging behaviour can then be prevented.
A relationship between the teacher and student should also be built up. To do so, one should be fair to each and every student and make an effort to know about each student’s background. As a teacher, it is also very important to listen to every student. It should also be necessary to set out some behaviour that is expected from the children. When the children feels that the teacher has built up a relationship with them, it is less likely for them to have a challenging behaviour. As they feel that you are very friendly, they will build up a positive behaviour. However, being friendly is important but one should be careful about not letting the children think that you are their friend instead of teacher as this would lead to them not taking what you say seriously (Smith, Yell, 2013).
- In different childcare or kindergartens, different strategies are used by teachers in managing classes. Below are two strategies that I have observed the teachers used. Of which one is a rule and one is a routine. Although strategies are supposedly workable, however, there are also times where strategies does not work.
In the childcare centre that I am attached to, there are some unique actions made to catch the children’s attention. One of the strategies I observed is that during lessons or storybook reading time, when the children are getting restless and becoming rowdy, the teacher would clap her hands to any tune and most of the children will mimic what is being clapped. However, the corporation of the children depends on how rowdy they are. If they are really rowdy, only some will clap to the tune while the rest continues to be noisy. I have observed that the “clap to the tune” method only works for a maximum of two to three times. After that, another strategy must be used to capture the children’s attention. I think that this happens as the children gets bored with the method at the third time.
The second strategy is actually a rule. There is a rule saying that after every meal, the floor must be swept and the tables must be cleaned by the students. When it was my first day in the childcare centre, I was actually very shocked to see the children all wanting to sweep the floor and clean the tables. I at first thought that they were rewarded after that. However, they were not. After much thinking, I finally understood why they would be so spontaneous. They already take it as a daily routine, to them, it is like bathing or eating.
- In independent work, much considerations must be made in order for the children to be interested and thus get the motivation to finish that piece of work. The work should be challenging but achievable. This is so as it is important to let children feel a sense of achievement when they first do it. If they fail at the first time, they will not want to do it again the next time. This means that if the child is 5 years old, do not give anything that a 7 year old would do. This is so as they will not know how to do and would not be motivated to finish the work given when they feel that they do not know how to do. Work should also be given according to the child’s interest. For example, if the child is interested in animals, you could provide the child with some paper and recycled materials for him/her to create an animal he or she likes (Weinstein, Romano & Mignano, 2011, p.256).
The objectives in a small group activity is to let the children learn how to have teamwork and how to help one another. Therefore, the work given should include factors of teamwork. If possible, create an activity that the factor of teamwork is mandatory. Another considerations that must be made is that to help the children team up, this means that one should make sure that they do not mix with the same group of people all the time. This would lead to segregation in the class as over time, they will not want to mix with the other peers. The aim of a small group work is for everybody to mix around, if they only mix with their peers then it would defeat the purpose of a small group work (Weinstein, Romano & Mignano, 2011, p.277). I have observed that in the childcare centre that I am attached to, they would try to mix the children around for group work.
The last important thing is to make sure no student tries to free load. It is essential to put different children with different strength together so that all of them would have a chance to do something. For example, put a student with good creative but does not have much of a patience with a student that has patience but not much of a creativity (Weinstein, C. S, Romano, M. E. & Mignano, A. J., 2011, pg. 278).
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