Leading and Caring for Children

This cluster addresses how we behave well in our most challenging times as we endeavor to treat children as we would like to treated — less as underlings and more as fellow travelers on the planet.

Enterprise Talk Guidelines

This is what I have learned about how to actually change my own behavior with children to become more authentically me and act towards them in a way that is congruent with my values. You’ll find here a one page summary of Enterprise Talk and wall charts to post around you as reminders. The article on it is below.

Enterprise Talk: a handrail to authenticity and integrity

Authenticity: Am I being aware, open, and present in this moment of stress? Or am I acting habitually?
Integrity: If I hold certain values, am I practicing those values in this moment of stress? Am I walking my talk?
This is an article I wrote in celebration of Lilian Katz, in which I explain the rationale and significance of being intentionally careful when we talk to children. Because we adults are bigger and more privileged, we have to be very careful around the use our unrecognized power. Download the pdf, here, too. This work is transformation.

Cultivating Conversations with Children

You know people who are surrounded by children because the children love being with them so much. Do you want that for you, too? After long study, really long study, I finally learned how to have meaningful conversations with any child I encounter. By meaningful, I mean that in one single conversation both the child’s life and the adult’s life are changed in a beneficial way. This is a complete course of study designed to change adult behavior. This is work is transformation, too, so it seems college credit is appropriate for doing the work in red.

If you are currently enrolled in a relevant higher education program, it may be possible to petition for independent study credit by documenting one’s work through the challenges linked here. Goals, objectives, assignments, and evaluation are all included.

Levels of Abstraction

Continuing up one more step in understanding the essentials, I offer a slide show presentation of Marion Blank’s Levels of Abstraction as applied to casual commenting and selecting children’s books. Here’s how some cultures prepare young children for the world of ideas available in school and understanding what is available in the library and online. No matter what you are searching for at my site, the utility of this for your future may surprise you. It sure changed me.

Troubling Behavior

Leadership and Care is my name for what is commonly called behavior management or discipline, which are ways we often label the strategies employed to deal with troubling behavior. After being educated by over a hundred very difficult children, I found that what I once thought was “correcting them” was not that at all. I found my role to be more accurately described as leadership for the child and the child’s community — merging healthy, loving communication and clearly understood acts of care.

Civil Rights Data Collection shows more than 8,000 public preschoolers were suspended at least once during the 1011-2012 school year, mostly boys, with Black boys accounting for most of those suspended more than once. This is outrageous. Leadership and Care provides essential professional education to early educators, so this need not happen. I invite everyone in early education to delve into the next 30 pages. Please. You can change your life using this content. I often told my students (both educators and parents) that if they did the work applying each of these steps to their interactions with children, they would know more about addressing troublesome behavior than almost anyone they will ever meet in the rest of their lives. This is massive work that takes about six months to learn, so you ought to earn 3 semester hours college credit, too.

If you are currently enrolled in a relevant higher education program, it may be possible to petition for independent study credit by documenting one’s work through the challenges linked here. Goals, objectives, assignments, and evaluation are all included.

Emotion Vocabulary

One handout from the Leadership and Care materials has become widely used acrossemotions the world.
I put together a one-page list of English words describing feelings organized by category and intensity. View in browser. Download pdf.

 Interviewing Prospective Staff

Rascene4ther than hire a teacher based on an abstract discussion of values and pedagogy, you can show them these four short videos and see what they truly understand. Each is a sophisticated provocation about the essentials of early childhood pedagogy. The videos reside on Vimeo, so they can be accessed anywhere, and the supportive materials reside on this page.

Next Guides for Enterprise Talk