Competency Goal Three: To support social and emotional development and to provide positive guidance
By Tina Sieben
As a para-educator, I believe it is imperative to not only meet the educational needs of our students, but also their emotional needs as well. Every day I strive to make each child feel welcome and cared for. I greet them with a smile, and call them by name. I ask them questions in an effort to get to know them, and often have conversations about the things they are interested in. I share with them my interests as well. For example, I have one student in particular who is an avid football fan and we often talk about the scores of our favorite NFL teams on Monday mornings. These interpersonal contacts make the children aware that I am genuinely interested in them as individuals and give them a sense of self-worth. Something as simple as a smile and a kind word can make all the difference in anyone’s day, and for children it can shape their entire lives. I strive to consistently give encouragement and support to each child. By recognizing even the smallest accomplishment, you are instilling in the child the desire to keep practicing and improving skills, thus giving them a foundation for life-long learning.
I believe it is also my responsibility to provide guidance in the development of the social skills necessary for children to become confident members of society. I encourage each child to work and play cooperatively with others through sharing toys, taking turns, and inviting other children to join games. I insist on each child being respectful towards others. Young children aren’t yet fully aware of the feelings of others and the impact their own actions may have on each other. Helping them understand their own feelings and emotions often leads them to recognize the same feelings and emotions in others. I live by the Golden Rule; “Do unto others as you’d have done unto you”. I fully believe this is the truest... [continues]
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