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

Jun 28, 2016

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

Credit: KPG Payless / Shutterstock.com

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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