Articles in the popular press with titles such as “Ten Things the Pandemic Has Changed for Good,” illustrate how the coronavirus has made constant change a way of life for adults since last March.
Julie Powers wrote her article on preparing parents for change pre-COVID, but it offers important food-for-thought for this time. (It also serves as the foundation for an Out of the Box Training Kit.) She provides an example of why early educators must be intentional about helping parents cope with change. She writes:
“Katie Johnson brings her 18-month-old son, Bobby, to his child care center on Monday morning. Instead of being greeted by the teacher she knows and trusts, she finds a stranger in the classroom.
"Where is Roxanne?" says Mrs. Johnson.
"Oh, she's moved to the Bear Room. Isn't it exciting! She's always wanted to work with the three year olds," says the stranger.
"And you are . . . "
"Oh, I'm Sally. I guess I haven't met you before. I used to work in the Lamb Room. I've been coming in to cover the teachers' breaks so the children will get to know me. You know me, don't you, Bobby!"
Bobby's center understood that children need preparation for change. Bringing Sally into the classroom helped the children get to know her. The children may have visited Roxanne in her new classroom and the staff may have taken other steps to prepare children for the change. They forgot that Mrs. Johnson also needed preparation for change.”
To help you become more of an “out of the box” leader, Out of the Box Training Kits are ready-to-use professional development programs on a variety of contemporary topics to support and improve the skills and pedagogy of those who work with young children.
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Thank you for your insight!
When parents and educators work together we see great things.
The article illustrated some very basic items that needed to be done and one item that was not done. We, as early childhood professionals, do think of the needs of the children in our care and too many times forget we are in a partnership with the parents. Thank you for highlighting that need.
As a past director of a program, yes, one more thing to add to the To Do List. Advise parents on the teacher changes and how you are helping their child adjust before and during the change.
Janie H. Humphries, EdD