Wednesday, October 7, 2009

How do you get preschoolers to be quiet?

 "Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding."
-Albert Einstein

Shhhhhhhh! Shhhhhhhhh! Are you shuuushing the children? When I was a director I had my staff do lot’s of role playing. The teachers got to be the children to see how it felt. One staff member began talking and  another adult got in her personal space and went, “SHHHHHHH!” Then, she was asked how she felt. She said she felt humiliated and almost like crying from the embarrassment.
Well…how do you get preschoolers to be quiet? You must ask yourself what is most important…the quietness, the language rich environment, the enthusiasm of the children, your control over of the children? What may really rock your noodle is that the real question boils down to your own personal values. Your true values will manifest themselves through everyday decisions you make with the children and through behavior you display around the children. I used to throw hissy fits in the most inconvenient places…oh, I knew what I was doing, and mind you…I was three going on thirty and very much a middle child. My mother had her hands full. I used to scream, probably for candy. My mother used to whisper in my ear- I would stop screaming and lean in so I could hear her. My mother was very smart. I used the same tactics if I need to get a group of children’s attention: whisper, do something unexpected and draw in their attention. More noise doesn’t always call for more noise…then everyone has a headache.

No comments: