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“Teaching kids to count is fine, but teaching them what counts is best.”
– Bob Talbert
Kids spend most of their time with their teacher, after their parents. Teachers play a huge role in the growth and mental development of children. A school is called a second home after all, where they not only learn their subjects but also how to carry themselves through life. School is their first exposure to friends, socializing, bullying, pressure and more. Hence, providing the right guidance for children is one of the core responsibilities of being a teacher.
Each kid is different. Their perspective and attitudes differ in many ways. Hence, a teacher must understand child psychology to be able to teach kids effectively in a way that does not discriminate.
Child Psychology for Teachers helps them to understand and comprehend a child better. Understanding child psychology can do more for a teacher than improving their teaching and learning habits of students. It can help them motivate students and identify if they are in an emotional crisis. This information can come handy when handling difficult students and giving support to ones in need.
Importance of Child Psychology for Teachers
Mental health is an essential part of a child’s overall health. It has a very complex interactive relationship with physical health and the environment. As a parent or a teacher, you play a very crucial role in your kid's mental health.
Why do parents and teachers need to know and apply child psychology?
Children spend a major part of their time either in school or at home. Thus, parents and teachers are the ones who tend to have a big impact on their development. They play an important role in shaping a child’s attitudes and behaviour.
Parents must create a safe environment at home while helping them build strong, caring relationships. Teachers help children and young adults develop self-esteem and confidence. However, children often get triggered by certain external factors and develop child psychological problems which ultimately ruin their mental health; this is where Child Psychology for Teachers and Parents help.
Child Psychology helps teachers to develop unique teaching techniques that apply to every child. It also gives special attention to those who have learning deficits like ADHD, Autism, etc. A study of child psychology helps the teachers to identify the prime reason for the delay in the mental growth of children.
Here are a few psychological elements teachers need to keep in mind when dealing with children to promote positive and effective psychological development:
Individual differences: People are different from each other. They look, perceive, understand and respond to things differently, the same applies to children too. These differences majorly come from their home environment and it influences the way they behave with other children. Along with that, there are differences in their unique abilities and talents. Understanding of this can be of great help to teachers when it comes to dealing with children.
Learning styles: Like mentioned above, all children are different, so are their ways of understanding and grasping. The traditional lecture method or writing on board may not be effective on all children. Some children tend to be visual learners while others are kinaesthetic. A teacher needs to identify these and be capable of helping them. Below are the different types of learners along with techniques that can help them:
- Visual: Using images and videos
- Auditory: Using rhythms and lectures
- Verbal: reading and memorizing out loud.
- Kinaesthetic: Writing or drawing.
- Intrapersonal: Learning on their own
- Interpersonal: Learning in with others, in a group.
Rewards and punishments: These are techniques are also applied by parents to modify a child’s behaviour. Giving a student a reward, especially when it is social in nature, not only helps them continue that behaviour but also encourages others to behave in a similar track. Also when punishing, teachers need to make sure that the nature of it is not such that it affects the student mentally but rather enable them to reflect on their behaviour.
Giving explanations: When making a rule around the class, teachers need to explain the logic behind these rules. When an explanation is given, students are in a better position to understand the importance of and follow it.
Brain plasticity: Teachers need to always keep in mind, while interacting with children that their behaviour tends to have an impact on the child. Be it kind or harsh words, be it a smile or a frown or be it a particular social or academic skill. This is the stage where whatever the child learns creates a new neural connection in the brain enabling the child to remember it later in life.
Identifying and addressing psychological issues: As children spend their majority of time in school, teachers can play an important role in identifying and addressing these problems. Issues such as bullying and child abuse are common psychological difficulties children face. Here are a few identifiers that can help teachers point out psychological issues the child could be facing:
- Sudden decrease in academic performance
- Sitting or spending most of the time on their own
- Being too quiet, if they were talkative earlier
- Sudden anger outbursts or aggressive behaviour
- Not being able to make friends
How to Understand Child Psychology?
The early years of a child is very crucial for their physical, emotional, and social well being. All these accords to their brain development and their personality development. Understanding children’s psychology is not easy but it is very important for parents and teachers to do so.
Realising and accepting a child’s qualities, their wants and needs, is the key to being a good Parent or Teacher. They get a sense of security when you accept them just the way they are, and this gives them the confidence to open up to you.
Here are a few tips on how to understand child psychology -
It is the simplest tool you can use in learning child psychology. By observing the kid while he is playing, asking for a thing, or reacting to certain situations, you get to know a great deal about his overall personality.
Praising children for good work done will boost their self-esteem. However, overpraising them can make them arrogant and snobbish but when you appreciate them for their work, their acceptance or arrogance will help you understand what actually they are expecting from you.
- Listen to them
By listening to what a child has to say, you get to know them better. Doing so will make them feel that you are interested in their life. This will in turn help to strengthen the bond between you two and they will take a step forward in listening to what you have to say.
Along with all the above, a teacher needs to be aware of their behaviour around children and need to be a role model for them. Children learn a lot from observation; they also tend to do it unconsciously. Thus at times, it is not necessary to actually tell the child what to do but rather show them by doing it yourself.
Cadabams is one of the best Child Counselling and Child Psychiatry hospitals in Bangalore. We offer multi-speciality mental health care for children and adolescents. We offer all kinds of well-integrated child psychology services and have a team of trained and experienced professionals, specializing in child psychology.
For teacher training programs and sensitization on child psychology, call us now on +919741476476.
1.What do child psychologist do?
Ans. Child Psychology involves listening and observing children to understand their behaviors. This helps gain an understanding of their learning patterns, their likes and dislikes. This eventually helps in understanding what is the best way to deal with a child and work with them to enable better learning and growth.
2.What is student psychology?
Ans. Children are complex individuals. They interact with a variety of people in educational settings and they also have their own challenges. Student Psychology, Kids Psychology, or Child Psychology are different names given to the same act of listening and observing a child to better understand their behavioral patterns and their learning patterns to ensure better education and growth.
3.Why is psychology important in education?
Ans. Psychology is important in all aspects of life. Children have complex emotions and understanding them is a major task. Child Psychology focuses on understanding the patterns and behaviors of the children to ensure that they get the best experience while learning and developing.
4.Why should teachers study psychology?
Ans. Teachers deal with children and their complex thoughts everyday. For a teacher to get the best out of their child, studying child psychology is very important. It helps them understand the students, their behaviors and how they work with their lives. The children can learn better and grow better.