In an earlier post, I talked about safety as being the first “Rule” of my classroom.
I tend to think first in terms of physical safety, and I discussed that on Tuesday August 17 post entitled “Be Safe.”
Today I want to talk briefly about a second dimension of safety, social safety.
Social safety, at least in my kindergarten, needs attention particularly among the girls simply because five year-old girls tend to be more mature and sophisticated socially than boys.
Boys in conflict tend to ruffle each other’s physical safety. Girls in conflict tend to ruffle each other’s social safety.
I’m sure other early childhood educators hear complaints like, “Teacher, Marcy said she won’t be my friend.”
I see both physical and social ruffles as violations of my primary goal of safety.
When I become aware of a “Marcy won’t be my friend” complaint I treat it with about the same urgency as, say, a punch.
That is to say, when a girl shuns a classmate it deserves my immediate attention and response.
I teach that we are a classroom community. Everyone (except the houseflies) is entitled to feel safe in my classroom all the students—even the bugs.
Our circle of friends includes everyone.
In a future post, I’ll talk about the final dimension of safety, psychological safety.
For my earlier post on this subject, click Being Safe Part One.