The Importance of Self-Regulation For New Orleans Schoolchildren
Helping Preschoolers Build Self-Regulation Skills That Are The Foundation Of Success
A recent study by the RAND Corporation found that 62 percent of preschool students were sufficiently self-regulated and that these skills were important in decreasing the risk of being involved in unhealthy peer groups.
In an attempt to encourage preschoolers to regulate their behavior more often, Teach for America (TFA) shares the research and advice of experts in developing self-regulation skills with K-2 students across the country in New Orleans, Kansas City, New York, and Washington, D.C.
According to Jenny Levin, director of early childhood leadership at Teach for America, “The biggest barrier to self-regulation learning is fear. The ability to say, ‘No, I’m not going to pick on my friend,’ or ‘I’m not going to lick my teacher’s face,’ is ultimately threatened by bullying or peer pressure. So TFA is working to ensure that students are able to regulate their behavior before bullying starts.”
In TFA’s Classroom Small Communities Program, teachers build their students’ self-regulation and connection skills through play-based activities. TFA’s efforts are focused around fostering healthy self-regulation skills, which include increased mindfulness, confidence, honesty, and empathy.
In the K-2 classroom in a New Orleans public school, 3 and 4-year-olds learn that they have the capacity to help themselves when they have the energy to do so. Teachers arrange for children to design and hand-build furniture. Activity blocks reflect their young-adult creativity, allowing children to build bridges, swimming pools, and jungle gyms. Their creativity and imagination are celebrated. Once a child completes their project, they may decorate their creation by cutting, painting, and staining it.