Observation of a Head Start Classroom

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Observation of a Head Start Classroom

In June, 2010, I had the opportunity to observe a partial-day of instructor-student interaction in a Head Start classroom, Delaware County, PA. In this facility, the teacher (a female with over 4 years of teaching experience), created and provided multiple environments in which her students could flourish. Primarily, she did an outstanding job of creating a social growth environment where the children can achieve their potential for optimal: social; intellectual; emotional; and physical growth, and development. This teacher also provided an interactive environment, where each child is seen as a unique individual who continues to be shaped by their social and cultural inter-relationships. This teacher encouraged each child to be the active partner in their learning process, and created a curriculum based on: each child’s individual needs, and interests with a balance of child-initiated and teacher-directed activities.

“Circle Time” was the first activity I was able to observe. The teacher asked all of the children to clean up the toys with which they were playing. As she navigated the room, verbally assisting some students, I noticed some students had already gone to the carpet area and sat in “Circle“. There was however, one child who was having a hard time following directions, and would not clean up the Lego’s, he wanted to keep playing. After giving this child 3 warnings to clean up his toys, the instructor proceeded to sit on the floor adjacent to him. She then told him that he could keep his “creation”, on the shelf, and return to it when Circle Time was over but, that he needed to clean the rest of the Lego’s up and come to Circle with the rest of the class. Agreeing to this compromise, he put his creation away and the remaining Lego’s back into the bucket, and headed quietly to the carpet for Circle.

What could have been a power struggle, leading to a temper tantrum from a child who was not ready to...
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