Recently I provided my coaching service for a local child care program. Two new staff members were hired as a teaching team in a preschool classroom and I was there to train and coach them. They had inherited a class of very rambunctious boys (only 3 girls in the class of 15), many with severe and moderate behavioral issues. The children mostly enjoyed running around the classroom, roughhousing and jumping off of furniture. Over the years I have worked with very difficult children, but I have never seen a higher concentration of children with these behaviors all together in one classroom. This was going to be a challenge! I was up to the challenge and so were the new teachers!
We started out by establishing a schedule and routines to bring some structure to the children’s day. We discussed and implemented activities that we could tell interested the children. Through my coaching, the teachers progressed and became more and more adept at providing materials and activities that captured the interests of the children. We discussed and implemented strategies for managing the many difficult behaviors, and managing the learning environment. By following each staff member around and making suggestions, in the moment, of what they could do to improve upon any given situation, they quickly learned what was effective in each situation. The teachers took on my suggestions with zeal and ran with it! They were able to establish their own authority with the children while also establishing positive and caring relationships. They were able to implement a developmentally appropriate and educational, child-directed program. It took some time, but the behaviors and the program itself improved dramatically!
I was fortunate enough to have had some coaching from Lisa Murphy “the Ooey Gooey Lady” years ago when I was a fairly new teacher, and now I am able to pass on what I learned from her and my years of experience, in the same manner. The benefit of having someone right there in the moment, coaching and training, better prepares you for every situation that may come up in the classroom. It was a wonderful learning experience when I was coached and also wonderful to pass on what I have learned by coaching others.
The teachers are still hard at work implementing everything I was able to pass on to them and finding success!