Running a child care facility is a full-time job, involving interacting with children to care for them in return for their care being rendered. One of the most neglected areas in children’s care is the child’s relationship with their caregivers and service providers. Children care facilities should have a child care Supervisor and/or Head Start Teacher to oversee the activities and ensure that they are conducted smoothly. However, some staff may be idled by other immediate matters. Hence a provision should be made for their care.
One may wonder why more care is not being rendered to the children attending the various child care facilities. The simple answer is that care is dependent on the individuals who are providing it. The employees running the child care centers should have the required knowledge and skills to conduct activities with the children in a manner that helps to make them develop as individuals. This can be achieved only if the staff communalizes knowledge with the children and their parents.
To this, several skills are required not only for the teachers but for the care providers as well. They include the ability to communicate with the children; the ability to instruct; the ability to motivate; the ability to monitor; and the ability to interact and be with the children in a spirit of forgetfulness and patience.
Josie, a typical elementary school child cared for by three care providers, explains her appreciation of the care providers. “I love the person who is caring for me. I don’t know who did this work, but they are doing a good job of looking after me and learning about me the way my grandparents would have looked at me when they were growing up.”
In a similar vein, Amber, a young junior high school student, shared her observations of a kindergarten teacher: “The most important thing a teacher needs to do is to care about each of his/her students as if they are their own children. They must be able to notice when each child needs help and provide it accordingly. It also helps if the teacher is kind and caring. I remember when my teacher asked me and my friends to gather up and stack chairs instead of putting them back in the same order every time we met. I was so surprised by his kind gesture and his reminder that other people were like me – it reinforced the concept that the world is made up of everybody, regardless of their skin color or how many legs or arms.
These examples may seem trivial, but the situations these children faced inspired them to extremes. Children who feel loved and accepted by their teachers will be more likely to enjoy school and perform at their best. A positive attitude will help accomplish all the goals that a school has set for itself: academic success, improved learning, and development, capacity to provide support to students, and increasing their pride in their work.
The importance of character is manifested in the moral fiber of each child. It is what determines whether a child will be able to overcome many challenges that come at a later point in his or her life. A solid foundation for the character comes from the primary lived experiences of early childhood. Whatever challenges are placed in front of a child, he or she can perform well and overcome them with the help of this solid character foundation.
An important tenet of the Montessori approach is the promotion of values such as love, peace, and respect; the promotion of honesty; integrity; and personal control over one’s self. These values come from the way a child thinks, talks, and acts, and may not be evident to adults. However, they have the most profound effect on the world and all of its members.
When teaching through the Montessori Method, the focus is on the act of learning and doing. This is done in such a way that children are never punished for their lack of understanding. When they do something incorrectly, they are not punished. The Montessori philosophy says that a child’s learning is always more correct than what is taught by the teacher.
The world is a complicated place, and we often make choices that tear down the very things we hold dear. Children are made to transition from home to school, from school to home, from community to community. All this travel through the world crisscrossed by language barriers, economics, politics, changes in values, and new interests breaks many of our children. The job of social workers is to bridge these gaps and help young people embark on the journey to self-determination. Face to face. Sometimes alone.
The child cannot wall off his/her problems. Acceptance, help, and growth are three equally important concepts to any child. So how does the Montessori method fit in with this system? After all, the Montessori method is based on the principle of Entailment or developing the strength and endurance to face life’s challenges and the spirit to overcome them.