Judy Jablon, Amy Dombro, and Charlotte Stetson responded to a selection of questions and comments during an online event September 26–30, 2011. Read the questions and their responses below!
Welcome to a conversation about the interactions you have with children all day, every day. We wrote our book, Powerful Interactions: How to Connect with Children to Extend Their Learning, for teachers like you because your interactions with children have the potential to make a big, positive impact on their lives, both today and in the future.
We define Powerful Interactions this way: Powerful Interactions are exchanges between teachers and children that extend learning hand-in-hand with nurturing positive relationships. The combination of relationship building and instruction creates the optimal condition for children to learn. When teachers are intentional and purposeful about doing both, they create Powerful Interactions!
Our book is grounded in the reality of your everyday life as a teacher. It is also grounded in research on effective teaching and child development. In it, we offer a three-step process that will transform some of your everyday interactions into Powerful Interactions and specific, manageable strategies to help you incorporate all three steps into your practice.
The three steps of Powerful Interactions are
Step One, Be Present – In this step, you pause to prepare for a Powerful Interaction. To do this, you tune in to how you’re feeling and consider how you might need to adjust to create a “just right fit” with the child.
Step Two, Connect – In the second step, you deepen your relationship with the child by letting him know that you see him, are interested in what he is doing, and want to spend time with him. You help the child feel safe, confident, and open to learning. Staying connected and observant allows you to make the most appropriate decision about step three.
Step Three, Extend Learning – In step three, you use your strong relationship with the child as the basis for stretching his knowledge, skills, thinking, and/or vocabulary and language.
We hope you will enjoy this reflective guide that contains everything you need in order to understand what Powerful Interactions are, why they are so important, and how to achieve them. We look forward to reading your questions and participating in this online conversation about our new book.
— Judy Jablon, Amy Dombro, and Charlotte Stetson