I wrote a similar post in August, 2018 – but it’s amazing to me how many people simply don’t understand. I still keeping hearing many misconceptions! So here it is again – different words, same idea. Developmentally Appropriate!
I’m poling as many people and groups as I can to find out what kind of training you want as an ECE professional.
I have been given responses from self care to becoming a director to hands on science – and everything in between. Great ideas! But what I’m also hearing is a lot of things like – teaching toddlers the alphabet; keeping 3 year olds on their mat when they won’t sleep; making children stay in line…
I am seeing a large population that needs to understand just what DAP means – Developmentally Appropriate Practice. Having expectations of children that they are not yet developmentally ready to perform sets everyone up for failure.
It seems that most people understand the developmental stages of a child’s physical growth, but many people forget there is an emotional, social and cognitive level that isn’t the same for a two year old as it is for a four year old. A two year old is only just beginning to realize that they can do anything for themselves. They may feed themselves, but they are still reliant on the people around them to meet their needs. A four year old is already becoming independent. Doing it themselves is important and they often get angry when you try to help them.
These are just a couple of examples of the differences. And it is these developmental differences that we as professionals need to learn to understand. If the teacher’s expectations aren’t in line with the developmental process of the children they care for, everyone gets frustrated and there is no positive outcome anywhere. But by understanding that young children aren’t able to stand in line, the teacher can then come up with a creative, more appropriate way to transition a group from one place to another that not only gets them there, but makes it fun for everyone.
So what to do?
All you teachers, please make sure you understand not only your specific group of children, but what is typical for that age group. Provide activities that stimulate and excite them. Give them tools that help them grow, not expectations that frustrate them and you. Learning this is critical to our own professional development because it ensures we are providing the children in our charge a fully enriched environment.
And so I think I have now decided what the next training topic I work on will be. Your thoughts?