Especially for Parents: Teaching Strategies–Six Positive Messages

by Angie Williams

As we begin the fall program at Especially for Children, we wanted to share with families some of the guiding principles for our classrooms and interactions. The Six Positive Messages below come from Teaching Strategies, author of The Creative Curriculum®, and for the past several months, our team of managers has reflected on them and set goals and strategies for ensuring they are reinforced in our program:

This is a good place to be.
The intent of this message is reassurance for children that they will enjoy being in the classroom and feel safe there. Our goal is to have them look forward to learning new things and spending time together.

You belong here.
This is a message of acceptance. By sending this message, we help children feel accepted for who they are and encourage them to build connections with others. Our messages can help children appreciate different types of people and learn to find similarities that form the foundation of friendships.

This is a place you can trust.
This message is about reliability. Young children crave consistency, routine, and structure. Once children build trust in their environment, teachers, and classmates,
they feel safe to unleash their creativity and big ideas.

There are places you can be by yourself.
The intent of this message is respect for children as individuals. Some children need more alone time than others. We let them know that this is okay and that we respect their needs.

You can do many things on your own here.
This is a message about nurturing independence. During the early childhood years, children are learning that they are unique individuals with their own interests and agency. By sending this message and providing developmentally appropriate
challenges, we are building children’s confidence in their ability to achieve their goals.

This is a safe place to explore.
This is a message of confidence. To do their personal best, children need the freedom to try new things without fear. They should feel that it’s quite acceptable—even expected and encouraged—to make mistakes as they learn.

These positive messages guide our teaching staff and leadership as we arrange classrooms and build relationships with children and families. In addition, we will look to EFC’s core values below as we build community at the start of the “school year”:

  • Trust and openness
  • Respect and affirmation
  • A balance between flexibility and structure
  • Adaptability and spontaneity
  • Support of individuality and self-reliance
  • A spirit of cooperation
  • An atmosphere of warmth and caring
  • A sense of humor

Thank you for choosing Especially for Children. We look forward to a wonderful fall together!