So, as part of working this stint in an Early Childcare Centre we have been instructed to 'reflect'. I understand that the point of having to do reflections means that we have to look at ourselves and our teaching practice objectively. It also means that we have to actively *do* something about it, which I hadn't quite banked on until I got to the 'Act' part of a "difficult child" reflection. Because, you see, this child is all kinds of difficult, and I don't really know how to help that.
At 8am its not so bad, you do some talking, you do some practicing of words that you can use instead of your fists, you explain and agree on what is acceptable behaviour and what is not. You get the child to apologise (if someone needed apologising to) and you go on your merry way. Rinse and repeat as needed (which WILL be five minutes later). By 4 oclock and a billion million repetitions, your pretty much out of patience, are all kinds of frustrated and will end up just chanting ineffectively 'use words, not fists' and scoop up whatever child is crying for cuddles and a nap, while trying to convince yourself out of wringing Miss Difficult Child's pretty little neck.
However reflecting meant that I had to look at *my* teaching style in terms of her. I had to look at *why* she might be acting the way she is, and what part of *my* behaviour is causing her behaviour. I had to apply actual learning theories to her behaviour, and mine, and some more into processes to remove that behaviour on both parts. And I had to do within the confines of the centres rules and regulations. All fine, theory I have no problem with. Its the actually *doing* part that I'm a little concerned with, as its not a nice little library I'm working it, its with a living, breathing growing *child*.
. . .
I feel totally unprepared. A month and a half of theory IS NOT adequate training for going up against a small army of over two's.