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2.6: The Role of the Teacher in High-Quality Practices

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    As mentioned above, the teacher plays a vital role in orchestrating high-quality practices. In high-quality classrooms, not only must teachers create a safe and nurturing space, they must intentionally set up the environment to support children’s interests and individuality. California childcare programs serve a diverse population, therefore, an intentional teacher must also consider the cultural, linguistic, and socioeconomic status of each family enrolled in her class. The highly- qualified teacher has a deep understanding of child development, and with that knowledge she will provide appropriate materials and experiences to challenge the children in her care. In the chart below, we can see how teachers maintain high-quality practices.

    Table \(\PageIndex{1}\): Classroom Environments

    Physical environment

    The overall design and layout of a classroom, including the learning centers and play spaces, the age appropriate materials, and the child size furnishings

    Social environment

    The interactions that occur within the classroom between teachers, children, family members, center staff and administration

    Temporal environment

    The routines and daily schedules, the timing, sequence, and length of play time, the time spent indoors and outdoors engaged in child-directed and teacher-directed activities

    Here are some considerations to incorporate quality practices into your classroom to promote responsive caregiving while supporting the physical, social, emotional and intellectual development of children:

    Pin It! The Building Blocks of High Quality Early Childhood Education Programs[10

    1. Early learning standards and curricula that address the whole child, are developmentally appropriate, and are effectively implemented.
    2. Assessments that consider children’s academic, social-emotional, and physical progress and contribute to instructional and program planning.
    3. Well-prepared teachers who provide engaging interactions and classroom environments that support learning.
    4. Ongoing support for teachers, including coaching and mentoring.
    5. Support for English learners and students with special needs.
    6. Meaningful family engagement.
    7. Sufficient learning time.
    8. Small class sizes with low student-teacher ratios.
    9. Program assessments that measure structural quality and classroom interactions.
    10. A well-implemented state quality rating and improvement system.

    This page titled 2.6: The Role of the Teacher in High-Quality Practices is shared under a CC BY license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Gina Peterson and Emily Elam.