In my placement classroom we try and develop positive relationships between children and adults throughout the day. Building positive relationships with children in my classroom where each child has their own specific special needs is vitally important. The relationship we build with them will form the foundation for these children to enable them to build positive relationship within their own lives. The 5 children I have in my class all come from secure homes however they are severely challenged both physically and mentally.
For such children leaving the enclosed environment of their home can leave them feeling very vulnerable and often unsafe, so throughout the day we are positively reinforcing their trust and confidence thereby enabling them to build positive relationships. Each morning as the children walks into the classroom we greet the child warmly calling them by their first name making the greeting a personal greeting to that child. We greet the child personally and warmly to make the child feel that we are happy to see them, this secures a positive relationship between the teacher and child. We see this from Spodek, B. , & Saracho, O.N. (1994).
Right from the start: Teaching children age’s three to eight. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon who writes “…greeting children warmly when they arrive in the classroom … help establish secure relationships between teachers and children. “ After the children have sorted out their coats and bags we sit round the table and begin the day with news, this is a time for the children to share things that are happening in their life which they want others to know about, we give each child a chance to speak, while the teacher is listening intently showing the child they really care about him and his life.
We know this is essential in building positive relationships “Demonstrating caring is one of the most powerful ways to build positive relationships with your students” (Kerman et al. , 1980). This time around the table is extremely valuable as this is a time when we are communicating to the children on their level. When speaking to the children we maintain eye contact with them and show the child we are truly listening and understanding to what they are saying, this time when the communication between adult and child is flowing well is so important to the child to create that positive relationship.
“Teacher behaviours such as listening to children, making eye contact with them, and engaging in many one-to-one, face-to-face interactions with young children promote secure teacher-child relationships”. Throughout the day the children are working very hard to fullfill various tasks, they are working wanting to please their teachers.
When a child shows any positive behaviour which he has struggled to achieve the teacher will show the child their happiness at their achievement by praising the child and rewarding the child with a sticker, if a child produces excellent work the teacher will show the happiness by praising the child pointing out the parts of which the child has excelled and the child will be able to show their piece of work to the head who will then admire the child’s work and at times their work may be displayed on a notice board.
The child will then feel like his work has been appreciated by the teacher and will have satisfaction with their work, wanting to continue to please their teachers. Each child has a teacher who will work with the child on a 1-1 basis on the subjects that are difficult for him to succeed on.
The teacher will take the child aside giving the child all the time he needs to help him with the work he needs to get done. The teacher will see if he’s struggling and help the child so he feels how we care for him to be secure, happy and succeeding in school. We hope this will give the child a sense of security within the school so that he feels safe to create a relationship with the teachers.