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PLAN Sheet: The Importance of Relationships to Early Language and Literacy Development

babies playing with mom

Explore how strong teacher-child relationships support overall development and motivate children’s learning.

Key Messages:
Brain research indicates that children clearly benefit from opportunities to develop close relationships with their caregivers.
Strong teacher-child relationships support overall development and motivate children’s learning.
Children are more likely to attain early language and literacy with teachers who are able to build close, responsive relationships.

P

reparing Yourself

* Think back over your career, how did you form relationships with children and families?
* What messages about the importance of building trusting relationships with young children could you share as a mentor?

L

inking with the Caregiver

* *Invite teachers to share the following with you:*
* What they would like children to remember about their relationship with them?
* *Listen for ways for teachers do the following:*
* **Develop** relationships with each child and family.
* **Demonstrate** their ability to make children feel safe and secure.

A

cknowledge Strengths & Areas for Support

* ***Reflect back*** what you heard (content and feeling) and reach for clarity. Ask teachers what they would like to learn more about in building relationships with children and families.
* ***Highlight strengths.*** Observe aloud how you have seen teachers build trusting relationships with children and families.
* ***Reframe*** the teachers’ comments and concerns in ways that extend their understanding of the importance of early relationships.

N

ext Steps

* Brainstorm together ways teachers can build, enhance, maintain, and renew relationships with children and families.
* Identify resources that each of the following contributors might bring to the effort:
* Teachers
* You, as the mentor
* Colleagues or community

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