Two of the TCS preschool teachers who teach our 4’s/5’s participated in the training, Jean and Liz, explain the responsive classroom approach to teaching and why it’s so effective.
About Responsive Classroom
Responsive Classroom is an approach to teaching which focuses heavily on the social and emotional growth of students. This style of teaching acknowledges the connection between having secure social and emotional skills and secure academic skills. Responsive Classroom also provides a safe and always positive environment where the students are comfortable exploring and sharing their ideas and opinions.
Responsive Classroom in Action
We use this approach in our classroom in many ways. We focus on positive behaviors and actions and use positive language. For example, we may say “When your eyes are on me, I know you are ready to hear instructions,” rather than telling a student that they are not doing a good job sitting on the rug for morning meetings. This focus on positive behavior helps other students to exhibit those same behaviors. The Responsive Classroom approach to teaching believes that every child needs to hear their name and have their voice be heard every single day to truly feel a part of the classroom community. One way we ensure that our kids hear their names is by our Name Song. We put the children’s names to a simple tune, and we sing it each day. We also use names in teaching language arts with rhyming, math with patterns and counting, and we play games that give each student a chance to share a fact about themselves.
Responsive Classroom Benefits
Responsive Classroom strives to provide a classroom environment that is positive, inclusive and warm. Giving the students this safe space where they feel welcomed and valued allows them to build confidence which is vital to their social and emotional growth. Encouraging the children to explore their own interests honors their natural curiosity, and sets them on a path to lifelong learning.
Responsive Classroom and Preschoolers
Play is the way that kids learn. They are growing socially and emotionally through their interactions. Using Responsive Classroom practices with our youngest learners is a developmentally appropriate practice which establishes the foundation upon which children can build their future academic successes at TCS.