Educators will face difficulties in providing a satisfactory level of education without the necessary skills to communicate effectively to these groups of people. Early childhood educators with effective communication skills demonstrate an ability to adapt their teaching methods to suit the needs of their young individual students, which benefits the progression in child development. The teacher’s positive mood determines the emotional climate of the classroom, creating a healthy and safe learning environment for the children and allows teachers to communicate comfortably with children, parents and colleagues, therefore, resolving issues efficiently. Early childhood educators who communicate effectively with children and parents create a positive classroom atmosphere, where successful learning can take place. Teachers and parents must be able to communicate and cooperate to build a strong relationship for the best interests of the child.
An early childhood educator will understand what constitutes good communication and the positive impact this can have on effectiveness of a successful learning environment. This impact extends to personal affective traits such as self esteem, self belief, desire and motivation. Relationships between the educator and child, child and parent, educator and parent, form an important part of early childhood education. The practice of using high quality communication skills are essential to the development of trust, respect and facilitating a unified learning approach where all parties are active and engaged participants. Through the use of these skills which are essential, the early childhood educator possesses the necessary tools to influence elements such as the learning quality, affective attributes and positive relationship development.
It also states that inclusion and support of parents and the connections with the community is important to the children’s learning process. Moreover Te Whᾱriki states that “Parents and caregivers have a wealth of valuable information and understandings regarding their children” (30). Thirdly both approach focus on educators to provide encouragement, warmth, and acceptance. They also provide challenges for creative and complex learning and thinking, helping children to extend their ideas and actions through sensitive, informed, well-judged interventions and support. Te Whᾱriki principles points out “children learn through responsive and reciprocal relationships with people, places and things” (p. 14).
Good communication skills are essential for anyone working in the early childhood industry, because being able to communicate effectively allows adaption of teaching methods in order to individually cater for and maximize the child’s learning and development, as well as effectively informing and involving the parents in the needs of the child. Learning occurs in different ways, some learn through watching, others through listening. There are also those that learn through participation as well as repetition. There are many ways to communicate with children to promote their willingness to learn such as singing songs, drawing pictures, creating art books and making models or objects. Visual aids can be useful for those who are visual learners and oral communication will benefit the others.
Curriculum refers to planned approaches to teaching and learning, an area of study or topics, which fit together according to predetermined criteria that are guided by theoretical and philosophical beliefs about the nature of learners and about the kinds of knowledge that should be taught (Lim and Genishi, 2010; Marsh, 2009). Curriculum therefore represents a set of goals that represent the aims of education for children; in essence it represents a value statement of what a society aspires for its children (Spodek and Saracho, 2003). Curriculum assumes many labels and perspectives in different countries, such as ‘core subjects’, ‘foundation subjects’ or ‘key learning areas’, depending on the aim or purpose of education in each country. Early childhood curricula vary from guiding principles and characteristics through to key learning areas and descriptive outcomes. For example, one perspective of curriculum prescribes specific content knowledge, objectives and goals, teaching procedures, and assessment strategies - the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) may be said to belong to this category.
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs pyramid. Retrieved April 19, 2011, from http://www.ruralhealth.utas.edu.au/comm-lead/leadership/maslow-diagram.htm Wesley, D. C., (1998). Eleven ways to be a great teacher. Educational Leadership 55(5), 80-81. Retrieved from http://proquest.umi.com.dbgw.lis.curtin.edu.au/pqdweb?did=26126116&sid=1&Fmt=6&clientId=22212&RQT=309&VName=PQD&cfc=1 Whitton, D., Barker, K., Nosworthy, Sinclair, C., & Nanlohy, P. (2010).
Reference will be made to a range of literature on the topic of partnerships in a school and centre setting. Rationale for building effective reciprocal relationships with parents and whānau The literature states that partnerships between parents and families helps children feel safe within the learning environment. Porter (2008) discusses how through interactions between parents and educators, educators gain access to knowledge and support and gain a sounding board for any concerns about the child. Children also gain ‘permission’ to develop confidence and trust with the teachers (Porter 2008). With trust and confidence with and in their teacher’s children feel a sense of safety which allows them to be able to engage in learning to their fullest ability.
Thus suggesting practitioners should embrace and accept the approach enabling them to “adopt learning strategies that embed the acquisition of knowledge and skills into meaningful context” (Macleod-Brudenell and Kay, 2008, p.311). Moss and Petrie (2002) support this concept by stating “pedagogy can be used to refer to whole domain of social responsibility for children, for their well-being, learning and competence” (p.138). Pugh and Duffy (2006) suggest a pedagogue is the one who leads and educates children’s learning. This effectively impacts upon children’s learning and enables them to become confident learners. As well as encouraging children to be in control of their own interests and learning (Every child matters, 2004).
Last but not least it is very important for teachers to make their students feel like with instructional and emotional support from their teacher that they will not fail. In the first article “The Journal of Educational Psychology” states that teacher-student interactions are very important and can change a students path in achievement. They suggest that when teacher-student interactions take place in a positive matter whether one on one, small groups, or the whole class, that these teacher-student interactions deliver the students with the correct support needed for their learning potential. Also, these positive interactions then can help set the student up for other positive paths in the classroom. Examples of these interactions are categorized into three realms of support: emotional, organizational, and instructional.
If we are more engaged in our students’ home lives and interests, we are going to understand and achieve great relationships. Having an understanding of their background, the children’s strengths and weaknesses, is going to establish a better relationship with them. If we show children that we care about the person they are, they are going to respect and trust us. Effective communication between families and educators takes time, effort and energy (Arthur, Beecher, Death, Dockett, & Farmer, 2008, p 49). Not only do we need to develop good communication by directly interacting with parents but also keeping them actively involved.