I have kids in my school. Many people don’t like teaching kids, but I do.
They work for me, and they are (almost) always enthusiastic. They have a
lot of energy and teaching them is often close to playing.
Well, I also have a boy who is one year seven months old. Baby? No.
Toddler? Well, yes, this is the best way to put it.
I have taught toddlers before, and they took a bit of getting used to (for
me). Anyway, I have developed a few ideas that seem to work with them.
One, is to always assume the best from them. Toddlers don’t actually set
out to do bad things. I know this is not always true, but working from that
beleif is much more empowering to me as a teacher, and I get much better
results that way.
When I work from this presupposition (a little NLP term there!), I find that
I approach the child in a much more positive way. My attitude is more
inclined toward problem solving than disciplining. And disciplining a one
and ahalf year old will not make him feel great about learning English, nor
will it do much for my business when he cries each time he comes and then
they withdraw from the school.
Finally, if I presume he never sets out to do bad things, then I will come
in with a more inquisitive attitude of ‘why is he doing what he is doing?’
This helps set rapport with him, since toddlers are basically inquisitive
about everything, and if we are both inquisitive, we can get in rapport
easier. Then he is more receptive to me.
After that, when discipline is really necessary I can set it up with a more
fun slant to him like a friendly growl followed bya bit of tickling. Mom
appreciates this (at this tender young Mom comes in the class with us, of