Stressed Teachers Can't Be Expected to Manage Problem Behaviours

If teachers don't have the support they need, the teachers suffer. So do the children. One of the risks for learners is that large classrooms containing a diversity of children can be impossible to manage. Sometimes, especially in smaller programs where their is no special support for children with behavior issues, the student has to be asked to leave the program.

A study led by Yale Child Study Center researcher Walter S. Gilliam, titled “Prekindergartners
Left Behind: Expulsion Rates in State Prekindergarten Systems,” says that under-resourcing teachers does create the risk of expulsion and poor outcomes for children. The study is based on data gathered in the National Prekindergarten Study (NPS).

“No one wants to hear about three- and four-year-olds being expelled from preschool, but
it happens rather frequently,” said Gilliam in a press release about the study. “Pre-K teachers need access to the support staff they need to help manage classroom behavior problems. Without this support, we are setting up for failure both our children and their teachers.”

When a child's behavior is unmanageable and teachers are not supported in finding special help and assessment for the child, learning opportunities for all are diminished. It is also agonizing and extremely stressful. These are the types of situations that exhaust and frustrate educators. Sharing information with parents about how class sizes and teacher burdens affect their children in a way that doesn't blame teachers is key to advancing better situations for teachers.

This study and other resources are available at the Foundation for Child Development.