"I heard a voice from heaven saying, 'Son, let this woman be a bride to you in the restoration of my people. Let her be a mother for these people, regenerating souls through the salvation of spirit and water.'" (Hildegard of Bingen, Scivias)

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Black Lives are Sacred Day 30: Preschool to Prison Pipeline

Totally heartbreaking.

Black students are disproportionately suspended from class, starting as early as preschool, according to new data from the U.S. Department of Education collected from all public school districts during the 2013–2014 school year.

Black preschool children were 3.6 times more likely than white children to receive one or more out-of-school suspensions, according to the survey data. Although boys were more likely than girls to be suspended in preschool, black girls also had high rates of suspension.


And one solution:

Let’s say a child runs inside with a dirty can and excitedly says, ‘Look what I found!’ A non-attuned response would be, “Put that down! It’s gross!”

An attuned response honors that the child is coming from a place of curiosity, openness, and excitement. You might respond by saying, ‘Wow, that’s a shiny can you found. It looks pretty dirty, though, so let’s look at it outside.’: It’s being aware of the child’s experience and tuning into it.

To build healthy relationships between the child and the teacher, the teacher needs to base their responses on what the child is putting forward in the interaction.

Research has shown that attuned relationships can be a buffer for kids who may be encountering difficult things in their homes or communities.

Attuned relationships do a lot to create the brain structure that promotes later learning, but this is missing in typical early childhood teacher training.

Saying ‘this kid doesn’t know how to behave’ isn’t helpful. As the adult, it is my job to understand what this child needs. An attuned relationship meets the child where the child is.


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