"Expelling Expulsion in Community Childcare" is now available as part of the Virtual Institute. This presentation discusses the issue of suspension and expulsion of young children from community childcare settings. We know that young children, and especially children of color, are at high risk for being suspended from early learning programs. Programmatic and staff factors may impact these rates (although that's not what we found in our study). As this session was originally designed as a think tank to discuss and develop potential strategies, interventions, and systemic/policy changes for addressing expulsion at the program, local, and/or state level, I invite you to continue the conversation here.
Some potential conversation starters:
I am looking forward to continuing the conversation and collaborating to find creative solutions to help expel expulsion!!
I want to thank everyone for keeping this thread going. I think this issue is exactly where the rubber hits the road: this is how ECE shows that Black Lives Matter, this is how we change institutionalized racism in our corner of the word. As we know, our "corner" is a foundational corner. We have the potential to set kids up for successful lives, fulfilling relationships, stable work-life, and an all around strong sense of belonging.
As mentioned, we cannot underestimate the toll trauma and generational trauma takes on those who have experienced this. And it could be any of us, so compassion for self and others is always the first step.
I know that I benefit from including a self-examination of unconscious bias as part of my personal CQI process, a process that never ends. I also want to acknowledge how difficult it will be for us to create zero expulsion classrooms. The road to expulsion starts with challenging behaviors. Let's acknowledge that our days are already long, our job is complex and handling challenging behaviors is draining. In reality, every child that "isn't getting with the program" will actually require us to change the program.
Anti bias calls us to adjust our mindset to accommodate every learner. For example after I accepted that circle time isn't the be all and end all of ECE learning, I no longer had to struggle with the children who acted out at circle time. A child who won't sit is not defiant, they just learn while in motion, so I need to make sure there is always an opportunity to engage while in motion, or engage while not at the circle.
I remind myself that the "bell curve" informs me that it is normal for there to be extremes. It really isn't easy to teach a child on the far tail end of the bell curve, and while compassion and accommodation are good, they may not get me far enough.
Teachers are the ones who create and maintain the classroom climate, but we need more tools to create systemic change. We need our government legislators, our state regulators, and our directors to embrace anti bias right along with us. Beyond a proper living wage, I believe we need better child/adult ratios, less crowded classrooms with more space for individualizing, and more time in the day for nurturing.
Hillary, that's depressing, but oh so true of so many situations. We need a government that pays for serious childcare. We can only hope that what we are doing is a little better than babysitting. Be sure every adult you know gets out and votes this November.
Maria, sorry. I misunderstood your post.
Keri, when will we see the neural biology of behavior talk to early childhood educators? They need to understand how the amygdala works and how calming aggressors can lead to more use of their PFC. Jack