At Delaware Child Development Bartlesville, teachers are trained to make a child feel psychologically safe in their classrooms. Teachers create a classroom space and schedule that is inviting, child led, and predictable. Predictability for a child in the early years is important. When children know what to expect, they have something to look forward to that is familiar. Most importantly, our teachers are coached to model acceptance, risk-taking, and making mistakes. This scaffolds children’s abilities. Teachers foster curiosity, motivate children to learn, and minimize children’s fear of being wrong or feeling out of place.
Distinguishing between instruction and verbalizing what it is you want the child to learn from the experience you are providing is also essential for creating a psychologically safe environment. When children are respected for what they can do and supported in their building of their knowledge and skills, they will excel and thrive in their learning environment. Each child deserves a challenge without any assumptions that one area is a stronger indicator of potential than another. Children are keenly aware of how adults and other children feel about them. Therefore, teachers need to demonstrate that they have value and respect for all children and their culture. Children’s home languages and culture should be represented in the classroom and integrated into activities within the lesson plans.
I’m sharing this information with you to try to encourage you as the families of the children that we care for to help us promote collaboration and connections between our families and caregivers. All the classrooms here at Delaware Child Development have family photos to represent the children’s families, but many need to be updated, and we’d like to go beyond that when representing a family’s culture. I’d like to invite families to the classrooms to share stories about their cultures, read books about their culture, or anything you can think of to represent your family’s culture. We recognize the importance of building on a child’s individual values to help the child feel emotionally safe and welcomed in their learning environment.
DCDC Bartlesville Director