Supervision of children decreases accidents and incidents, while increasing the children’s safety. How do you know if you are a good supervisor? Supervision is an active action. Simply watching is not enough. You must be constantly on the move, vigilant, listening, and always aware of the actions of children around you. Below are some supervision strategies to add to your toolbelt:
- Always know the children in your care.
- Complete transition checks to ensure children do not get left behind.
- Continually scan and count the children in your care.
- Never turn your back on the children. Always position yourself in the classroom so that you can easily scan the entire classroom.
- When preparing meals for children, do so in family style manner. Place the food on the table and assist the children in serving themselves. If children are too young to serve themselves, serve children at the table instead of the counter where your back will be to the children.
- When walking in the hallway, keep your eyes on the children the entire time to prevent the children from wandering off. You will mostly likely be walking backward.
- On the playground circulate often, scanning the playground, gates, and equipment. If more than one teacher is on the playground, position yourself on top of the play structure. This provides a birds eye view of the play area while closely supervising those on the structure.
Set Up the Environment
- Arrange the furniture and equipment so that children can be seen at all times.
- Keep your classroom is clutter free, so children do not have small spaces in which to hide.
- Ensure there are clear path’s through the classroom so that staff can react quickly if necessary.
- Arrange furniture to create centers and reduce running space. Ensure that quiet centers are away from noisy centers.
- Listen for any sounds or often absence of sound that may cause concern.
- Be aware of the conversations of children around you. Are they appropriate? If not redirect.
- ∙Stay in close proximity to the children so that you can hear conversations.
Anticipate Children’s Behaviors
- Children are predictable. Look and identify for triggers for behaviors. These triggers are warning signs that something is about to happen. For example, if you see two toddlers fighting over a toy, chances are there is going to be some sort of pushing or biting as a result of the struggle.
Engage and Redirect
- Engaging with the children and structuring play is a key factor in preventing conflict between children.
- When triggers are identified, teachers support children by redirecting before the situation escalates. For example, if two children are fighting over a toy, helping the children come to a resolution on how the toy is going to be shared or another similar toy is offered will prevent the conflict from escalating.
Engaging Classroom Environment
- Follow curriculum, daily schedule and lesson plans to create a classroom which engages and entertains the children.
- Have a transition plan for the day. Children cannot wait long. Ensure the children are always busy!
Christina is a blog writer and early childhood education content specialist at Kindertales.
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