Teaching Social/Emotional Skills in Preschool Impacts Learning for a Lifetime or How to Make Middle School a Better Place Cathy Cook, M. Ed. Training/Technical Assistance Coordinator, Region 5 Virginia Dept. of Education James Madison University There are too many words and worries on this slide! A National Portrait of Young Children at Special Risk for Early School Failure • More than 153,000 children under age 6 are in foster care. • More than 300,000 children under age 6 (half of whom are infants and toddlers) have incarcerated parents. • More than 567,000 young children are homeless, representing 42 percent of all homeless children. • More than 300,000 young children are victims of substantiated child abuse or neglect every year. • An estimated 2.2 million young children (10 percent) live with parental substance abuse or dependence. • One to four million young children who are exposed to domestic violence. • An estimated 27 percent of low-income kindergarten children are affected by parental, especially maternal, depression. • An estimated 17 percent of young children have diagnosable emotional and behavioral disorders. http://www.nccp.org/publications/pdf/text_648.pdf The objectives for this presentation are to establish understanding of… 1) Why early childhood is 2) What is social emotional competence 3) What can we do early to make a difference later Developing Brain AND Growing Child #1- Plasticity #2- Mirror Neurons Stress can be POISON if it is… Severe Persistent Uncontrollable Executive Function http://www.ne.edu.sg/hhh_framework.htm What is social and emotional competence and/or democratic life skills? What will give your child his or her best chance at happiness? A. Having close friends B. Finding a satisfying career C. Living according to his or her values A Question from Brain Rules for Babies by John Medina Whose job is this?? What can we do, sooner, to make a difference later? 1) Look at the research 2) Look at our own practice 3) Use the strategies recommended with intention and consistency All Sequences Varying rates Interaction Experiences Self-regulation Relationships Social and Cultural Contexts Variety Play Challenged Learning …must guide our practice! TEACHING THROUGH OUR ACTION — AND OUR INTERACTION WITH ALL PEOPLE IN THE CLASSROOM What should we do? Model emotional expression and regulation YOUR SKILLS promote Social and Emotional Competence to MAKE the DIFFERENCE in LEARNING for LIFE Source: National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). (2005). NAEYC early childhood program standards and accreditation performance criteria. Washington, DC: NAEYC <www.naeyc.org>. Resources for Teaching Social/Emotional Competence High Expectations! Thank you for coming!