Dr. Sharon Mims

Associate Professor, Human Development and Family Studies

The Power of Guidance: Teaching Social-Emotional Skills In the Early Childhood Classroom
by Dan Gartrell

When teaching young children, much time is spent focusing on the acquisition of socially acceptable behaviors, such as learning to resolve conflicts and to communicate feelings appropriately. In this book, the author describes how our view of children’s behavior influences our response to this behavior. If we see inappropriate behavior as "misbehavior" we tend to focus on punishment; if we see it as "mistaken behavior" we are more likely to help find ways to correct the mistake. In order to help children gain new skills of any sort, we should expect mistakes along the way. As a teacher and a person, this book is a good reminder to assess my response to others in light of my interpretation of their behavior, and to frequently evaluate this interpretation.