The Building Blocks of Child-Adult Relationships | HundrED Pittsburgh Spotlight


We have more and more checklists, more
and more things we’re asked to count. So how many times did so-and-so say a word today? And we make that count. But the things that we can count, may not always count, in
working with children. It’s a lot of things that can’t be counted that are
far more important. What’s deep and simple in all of those settings is the
work that they’re doing with children. Just the space between an adult and a
child. The Simple Interactions tool is a one-page learning tool. It’s not meant to be an evaluation. It’s not meant to give you a score. But it’s a descriptive learning tool about what interactions look like. Teachers far too often do not
have the opportunity to deeply reflect on what it is that they do. And these
tools help them to do that. So we’re able to slow down their day a bit and help
them to see those moments, to reflect on them, to notice things about their
practice, and to wonder what their practice could be if they were more
intentional about certain aspects of it. And I’ve noticed that I’ve tried to do a
lot of connection which is, you know, making sure that myself and the student
are on the same page. So it’s completed based in the teacher’s practice. It’s not us coming in and saying “Here’s what you should be doing,” it’s us reflecting back
and saying “Look at the good work you are doing.” With Simple Interactions, I’m
able to build upon it. So even though I’m having a conversation with them, I
learn to build upon our conversation and go deeper. Simple Interactions is for any adult who
happens to be working with children. If you’re working with a baby or you’re
working with a teen in a youth center, you’re interacting in very developmental
ways. These are the four dimensions of developmental interactions. The first is
connection, and that means that we are mutually in tune, that our affect is
matched. So maybe I am very calm and you as the adult are also very calm, we’re in
the engagement together. The second is reciprocity. How are they
balancing those roles of engagement? It’s that serve and return where we can’t
quite tell who’s in control of the interaction, but it’s perfectly
reciprocal. The third is inclusion and by inclusion we mean a sense of belonging
for every child, regardless of any reason why a child could be excluded. And the
last is opportunity to grow. Those incremental challenges and supports that
adults give to children to help them to grow. The children, they have answers, they
have opinions, they have thoughts, so instead of teaching at them, I give
them a chance to teach us as well I would tell other educators just, not
to be so hard on yourself, because you think that’s you’re not doing a good job,
and that sometimes the interactions that you have aren’t the most positive, but
they really are, cause kids learn from every interaction that you have with
them.

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