How Do Adults Influence
a Child’s Ability to Learn?
What Makes an Early Learning Professional Successful?
Adults are intentional about their decisions to create supportive learning environments and build strong relationships with children and their families. There are six key elements to optimize learning in the classroom:
- Relationships: Responsive and caring relationships establish the secure base from which children can explore the world.
- Understanding Context: Each child must be understood within the context of their individual family, community and experiences.
- Positivity: Each child’s positive attributes are identified and recognized.
- Play: Play is crucial to children’s physical, intellectual and social development.
- Access to Resources: Each child has access to the educational resources they need to thrive.
- Predictable Context: Each child thrives in the context of predictable relationships, routines and actions.
Adults In Our Centers Should:
Build strong relationships with children, families and colleagues
- Establish routines, rituals and structures to support the school family
- Engage families as active partners in the education of their child(ren)
- Establish smooth transition routines
- Seek to understand others’ perspectives or concerns in a productive and empathetic way
- Examine own assumptions about children and their families; strive continuously to overcome biases and assumptions
Intentional about the decisions they make impacting the education of young children
- Establish collective goals for children and the school; focus on achieving them
- Regularly collect, monitor and evaluate child data to plan for individualized learning, growth and development
- Use data to understand the effectiveness of programmatic and practice decisions in order to engage in continuous quality improvement
- Leverage diverse perspectives to generate new ideas, solutions and strategies
- Utilize knowledge of community, systems and relevant research when making decisions
Create a supportive learning environment through collaboration
- Communicate regularly with school colleagues and families to reflect, share, plan and support
- Identify potential problems, take initiative to generate solutions, elevate concerns as necessary
- Actively contribute to a positive and supportive workplace culture
- Confer with peers and subject matter experts to share strategies and improve practice
Continually appraise own competencies, seek feedback and adjust practice as necessary to meet the needs of children
- Engage in self-reflective practices at regular intervals
- Collaboratively develop and utilize an individual professional growth plan with ambitious, achievable goals
- Seek and utilize resources to improve own practice and knowledge base
- Consistently seek out and participate in collaborative learning