Best Practices

Intentional Interactions: Building Social-Emotional Skills in Everyday Experiences

Read Time: 1 minute
Teaching Strategies
Preschool children in classroom with teacher
September 22, 2021

Throughout any difficult time, such as the pandemic or recent weather-related disasters, we often hear “The children will be all right. They are resilient.” There is a difference, however, between short-term situational adaptability and true, lasting resiliency.

Children develop resiliency only through the purposeful and specific promotion of protective factors. With just a bit of relevant knowledge and preparation, educators will have the tools to intentionally strengthen children’s protective factors. In this four-part webinar series, educators and administrators will discuss the value of social–emotional development and learn simple yet effective strategies for promoting protective factors and resiliency in young children. Webinar participants will learn about products and techniques to support instruction of social–emotional  skills, and they will receive guidance for developing plans for its everyday implementation.

Learn more about each webinar in the series, below.

Everyday Caring: Building a Strong Classroom Community

What messages are you communicating in your day-to-day interactions?  Children can thrive only when they are welcomed into classroom communities with caring and nurturing adults who consistently provide a stable, safe environment.

Educators who attend this session will

  • explore the six positive messages for building a strong classroom community;
  • examine elements of intentional teaching; and
  • discuss how those elements collectively inform routines, experiences, the learning environment, and daily interactions with children and families.

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Everyday Amazing: Understanding Behavior and Supporting Positive Interactions

Increasingly, we are discovering that rigorous academic research confirms something that early childhood teachers have always known: social-emotional skills matter. It starts with the everyday interactions that let children know they matter.

Educators who attend this session will learn how to

  • establish clear norms and expectations for pro-social behaviors;
  • uncover the feelings behind children’s challenging behaviors; and
  • create an environment where all children and families feel welcomed and valued, even those who join mid-year.

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Your Everyday Best: Setting Appropriate Expectations for Children

High expectations for success can contribute greatly to a learning environment in which young children thrive. If a teacher is not careful, however, they can unknowingly put too much pressure on children and discourage them from trying.

Educators attending this session will learn to

  • create high expectations that are realistic and achievable for children,
  • include input from families so expectations are culturally appropriate,
  • communicate expectations to children so they are clear and understandable, and
  • differentiate high expectations from high pressure.

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Everyday Decisions: Empowering Children’s Decision Making

A core component of creating an emotionally safe classroom environment is giving children a sense of belonging and acceptance. Meaningful participation in a group, along with involvement in decision-making, gives children an opportunity to contribute and feel valued, thus evoking a sense of belonging.

Educators attending this session will learn

  • how involvement in decision-making and opportunities for participation and meaningful involvement support children’s resiliency,
  • potential opportunities to support children’s decision-making in the classroom, and
  • strategies for supporting all children’s sense of belonging in the classroom.

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