Thursday, June 5, 2014

What is the "Whole Child"

I don't think a lot of teachers understand the concept of the "Whole Child". To give students what they need to be successful, you must have a lesson plan that enhances the students' social, emotional, physical and cognitive development. And they must be in a school where they are engaged, safe, healthy, supported and challenged.  The academic part of this can be difficult to do, but it is easier if you let the students in your classroom lead you. Their interest and anecdotal notes can provide you with all the information you need.

Let the students experiment on their own, but this can't happen if they are being kept on the playground for too long.  I have seen teachers keeping students on the playground for up to 3 hours at a time; only because it is easier to handle disciplinary problems that may arise.

 As I have said in previous blogs, if the students are engaged and involved in outside activities let them stay out, just be sure they are getting the fluids they need, because part of the "Whole Child" is that they are safe and healthy.

If students are engaged in activities, they are getting some of the other skills in the whole child spectrum.  As physical development is part of the “Whole Child," the students also need to develop their social, emotional and cognitive skills. That is why the Dramatic Play Center is so important in classrooms; because it is the perfect area for students to work on these concepts. (Learning through play)

I found it necessary to write on this, since it is so important in Early Childhood. Although, I stress academics in most of my blogs, I also understand that the most critical part of a child's development is that they are socially, emotionally, physically and cognitively competent. These along with academics will help develop the "Whole Child."

If students are engaged, they are learning because they are enjoying what they are doing. If they are not engaged, it shows in their behavior and it is up to the teacher to provide a more stimulating environment so that they are challenged and supported.

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