“Picture this: one of our students is having a rough morning at home and now imagine this is their heart,” our Director of Programs Dori Buschke explains as she has everyone in room hold out pink paper hearts. She tells the room to fold their heart just a bit – creating a small wrinkle. Dori, then paints a few more scenarios which create more wrinkles in the pink hearts our Early Childhood Education teachers are holding. Soon the pink heart, meant to represent our student’s emotions, is filled with creases and has been crinkled into a shape that no longer resembles a heart. “However, then they go to St. Francis Children’s Center, where they are greeted by a smile and someone really excited that they are here,” Dori tells the group as she begins to smooth out a wrinkle from the pink heart. She explains how the activity can help us understand the social emotional development of children and how positive redirection can positively influence the kids in our classrooms.

This Tuesday, led by our on-site licensed psychologist Dr. Rick Clark and Director of Programs Dori Buschke, our Early Childhood Education staff was provided with a two-hour interactive training session on the Social Emotional Development and Learning of Children. Social Emotional Development of children involves the child’s experience, expression, and management of emotions and the ability to establish positive and rewarding relationships with others. It has been shown that healthy social development leads to emotional literacy, the ability to identify, understand and expression emotions in a healthy way. Children who demonstrate emotional literacy as compared to those who do not: get into fewer fights, engage in less destructive behavior, are healthier and, have greater academic achievement. The training helped staff understand the impact of social emotional development in our children, the responsibility educators carry in this development, and staff asked questions and received feedback from Dr. Clark.

“We are a child focused center, a child modeled center,” Dr. Clark reminded everyone. Through the training, the team also reviewed what children are communicating to us through their behavior and the steps our teachers should be taking to understand these positive or negative behaviors. SFCC’s founding philosophy has always been that “all children can learn if we can learn how to teach them” and the professional development we provide our staff is always with this in mind. These continuous trainings in turn help us meet our goal of sending children off to their next school placements with the emotional literacy to help them succeed.

To see more picture of our staff’s training, head over to our Facebook.

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