UNIT 2: COMMUNICATION AND PROFESSIONAL RELATIONSHIPS WITH CHILDREN, YOUNG PEOPLE AND ADULTS.
1. How to interact with and respond to children and young people.
In order to establish respectful and professional relationships with children we must firstly try to remember childrens names and how to pronounce them. A lot of modern names are spelled very differently and I feel it is very important to children that we use them correctly. We have a child in school whose name is ‘Maya’ it is pronounced exactly as it is spelled however she is often called ‘Mia’ ...this is not her name.
It is also important, that we remain approachable and that we listen to all children regardless of how long it may take for them to ‘get to the point’. A parent of a child in Year 4 recently came into school as she was worried that her daughter was being bullied over tuck shop money. I talked to the child and explained that not only was I there to help with her work in class, but also that she could come and talk to me if she was worried about anything at all. The child opened up and the problem was resolved. We must always allow children to explain themselves and never jump to conclusions. We must try not to interrupt them as it is important for them to be allowed to have their say.
We must also ensure that we treat all children the same, regardless of race, ability, background, religion etc. It is important to remain non judgemental at all times. I work with a wide range of abilities in one class alone, I always make sure that I treat the children exactly the same.
When working with children it is important that we behave appropriately for their stage of development. Very young children may want to sit on our knees or may want a cuddle when they are injured, ill or upset. It is important that we follow the schools policies and procedures for any physical interaction.
We must not shout, we do not want the child to be afraid of us. It would be very easy to scare a child at this stage. We have a child in reception who is very timid, it is imperative that we try to make him feel as settled, safe and happy as possible. We must make sure we come down to a young childs level when talking to them, give them plenty of eye contact and smile to reassure them. As the children get older the need for cuddles gets less, I currently work in year 4 and we still have a few children who ask for cuddles, again it is important to follow school procedures. Later it becomes more important to listen to the children until they are happy they have gotten their point across, we should avoid interrupting them. We must also think about language. When communicating with a reception age child our language should be different to when we are talking to a Year 6 child.
When dealing with disagreements between children it is important that we do not take sides. We must remain calm and also try to calm the children if they are shouting or crying. Once the children are calm we would then get each side of the story one at a time. Depending on the child’s age or stage of development I may ask them if they can think of a way to resolve the situation themselves. Often this has worked, for example two boys in reception had a disagreement over who was playing with a truck first. In the end they decided themselves that they could both play with the truck by pushing to each other. Often, especially with older children, by discussing the situation, they may actually realise where the problem lies themselves. We often need to act as a mediator. Again I would always follow the school's behaviour policy.
It is important that our own behaviour models the expected behaviour of the children, for example if the children see us remaining calm in a difficult situation, they too are more likely to stay calm. If a child hears us being rude to another child or adult they will think that is acceptable behaviour. If we shout they will shout back....
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