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Good relationships called essential for becoming a memorable teacher

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–To be remembered as a favorite teacher when tomorrow’s adults recall childhood, today’s workers with preschoolers and children need to focus on relationships, a national conference leader told weekday early education directors meeting in Nashville, Tenn., Oct. 19-22.
Barbara McDougal, a speaker, writer and conference leader from Jefferson City, Tenn., said while relationships and expectations vary widely among people, she believes “people who are real let you see into their heart.”
A former administrator and professor at Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City, McDougal said she believes people who choose to work with children do so because “you love children. It is the happiest time you can have when you are with those children.”
Participants in the National Preschool/ Children’s Convention at LifeWay Christian Resources told McDougal among qualities they recall in their favorite teachers are a sense of humor, enthusiasm, a caring personality and willingness to spend time showing an interest in each child every day.
McDougal said among relational needs children have are discipline that is firm, consistent and kind; unconditional love and acceptance; security and trust; rules that are understood, reasonable and enforceable; responsibility for making decisions and living with consequences; genuine praise and help in building self-esteem; and a good example.
Among the qualities needed in teachers, she said, are the ability to listen; understand no one is perfect; keep cool; realize potential and limitations; keep a sense of humor; save thunder for big things; and treat each child and co-worker with respect and appreciation.
“When you blow it,” she said, “admit it, apologize and move on. A mistake is an opportunity to learn.”
The National Preschool/Children’s Convention was sponsored by LifeWay Church Resources, a division of LifeWay Christian Resources.

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  • Charles Willis