Friday, September 11, 2009

Gossip In the Workplace in Early Childhood Education

 What you don't see with your eyes, don't witness with your mouth.
-Jewish Proverb

Definition: Gossip
Communicating and listening to negative information at the inappropriate time to the inappropriate person(s) to intentionally harm another persons reputation or feelings.

Gossip is an ugly word. It's name seems to hiss when you say it. It is very easy for children to pick up on as well. Grievance Policies and Codes of Ethical Conduct address issues such as gossip in the workplace and must be strictly enforced. In all my years of teaching there is nothing that can bring morale down faster than gossip allowed to flourish in the workplace. Preschool teachers look to the directors to maintain a standard in the workplace, directors look to head supervisors and so on....The focus must always remain on the children-and keeping the preschool environment positive. I have worked in preschool and daycare environments where the "no gossiping" rule was strictly enforced and observed by all staff. It makes for such a pleasant atmosphere. I also noticed that the children are more likely to put a stop to gossiping because they recognize it as not being normal or proper conversation.Many young children are natural trouble shooters. We can teach them to properly and politely tell someone it is not polite to talk about others when they are not around. Once children are instructed in a better way to do this socially, it will not be looked upon as "taddling" or snitching.
Effective communication and positive relationships are key in early childhood development. When we truly value what be teach, we become what we teach.
What have your experiences been? How do you practice effective communication and positive relationships?

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