Who we are today as adults has a lot to do with our temperament, and our resilience, or ability to bounce back from adversity. Science indicates there’s a direct link between temperament styles in early childhood and personality styles in adulthood, meaning temperament is directly linked to an individual being introverted or extroverted.
Having a solid understanding of temperament and resilience is so very important in the classroom. This knowledge is not only a great tool in developing systems to help your day go a bit more smoothly, but also supports healthy emotional growth in children!
Temperament & Resiliency Defined
There are many things that can contribute to the specific differences between each child, such as their upbringing, exposure to trauma, or their experiences with their school environment. With that understanding, temperament STILL holds much weight as to why your students will act and react the way they do
Temperament is biological, can be identified very early in life, and is predictable in individuals over time. We can’t change our students’ temperament, but we can respect who they are and have patience with them.
Resilience is the ability to deal with things when they are difficult, and bounce back from them. Because it’s not biological, resilience skills can be learned. The way we interact with our students and teach them to respond to adversity is a beautiful way to teach them resilience.
Your Work in the Classroom
When you have so many little people with all sorts of different temperaments and levels of resiliency, it can be really hard to keep up! But here are a few tips that can help you out.
- Encourage problem-solving.
When a child faces a difficulty in the classroom, even with something as small as zipping up their jacket, that you positively support them to problem solve on their own. Help them work through their frustration, build their confidence with words of praise, and avoid just doing it for them. This encourages resilience and promotes healthy self-esteem development. It’s a beautiful cycle that will only build them to be more sturdy when they are faced with adversity.
- Get a mood meter!
This can seriously be as easy as some construction paper, cardboard, and a free printable you find online. The purpose is to give your little learners a chance to foster emotional intelligence by seeing basic emotions and pointing out how they feel. It’s a great tool that can help your students foster emotional intelligence and help you know where they’re at in the moment.
- Create a safe zone.
Some children are more sensitive than others, and they can’t handle loud noise or wild movements without getting upset by it. You can help create a classroom environment where everyone is comfortable by making a safe zone for those who are a little more sensitive so they can decompress. Big bean bags and pillows in a cozy corner with books can be a great way to achieve this.
Of course, these are just a few ideas and you’re always welcome to explore even more options to promote positive outcomes in your classroom.
Managing Differences in Your Classroom
Being able to understand a child and meet them where they are is huge. Just as we have always known, different children need different approaches. In truly understanding this, and then applying it in our personal lives and in our classrooms each day, we can greatly transform our entire way of teaching — making a big impact in the lives of children.
In your daily routines, don’t miss the small opportunities in the mundane tasks to really plant a seed of kindness and confidence in the hearts of the little ones you work with.
At Impact Early Education, we know your work is never done. That’s why we provide valuable professional development courses for preschool teachers, directors, and owners in a way that works for you. To learn more, explore our courses or contact us today!