Excerpt from Powerful Interactions: How to Connect With Children to Extend Their Learning
Essential Messages About Powerful Interactions
- Emotional intelligence is the ability to tune in to your own emotions and the emotions of other people. Having emotional intelligence helps you know which of your emotions will help support the child you are trying to reach, and which emotions to set aside (e.g., your tension about not having forms ready for your director or your anger at your spouse).
- You may worry that when you sit quietly beside a child, other adults may think you’re not doing your job. Talking with colleagues about the importance of slowing down and staying in the moment can help them understand what you’re doing.
Listen to Children
- Pay attention to children to discover what they are saying with their words or body language, and let them know you have heard them.
- When you are just getting started with Powerful Interactions, it’s easier to practice them with one child at a time. However, as they become more a part of how you teach, you’ll discover that at times, you can have Powerful Interactions with more than one child at once.
Laugh with Children
Look for playful ways to interact with children—sing silly songs, read funny books and rhymes, and redirect challenging behavior with humor.
From Powerful Interactions: How to Connect With Children to Extend Their Learning, by A.L. Dombro, J. Jablon, & C. Stetson. Copyright © 2011 by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.