A group of committed preschool teachers from Little Paddington Campus recently engaged in an immersive half-day workshop focused on refining their approach to nurturing young minds. Entitled “From Chaos to Calm: The ‘Zen’ Classroom,” the Continuing Professional Development session took place on 20 April 2024, at the childcare provider’s Playfair Road Campus, conducted entirely in Chinese.

Teachers from Little Paddington Campus attending the workshop.

Leading the enlightening workshop was Mdm Hou Jing, Senior Lecturer of KLC International Institute. With dual Master’s degrees in Early Childhood Education and Computer Science, Mdm Hou possesses a wealth of experience in the multifaceted realm of early childhood development.

Mdm Hou Jing, Senior Lecturer of KLCII leading the workshop.

Managing young children can be overwhelmingly demanding, and Mdm Hou emphasized the critical need to cultivate a calm and supportive environment to effectively educate and supervise them. She reminded the participants that traditionally, the prevailing strategy concentrated on addressing disruptive and challenging behaviors in the classroom, often disregarding the fundamental needs of children for understanding, interpersonal bonding, and a comforting sense of security.

Participants at the workshop.

She advised the participants from all the preschool’s six centres under Little Paddington umbrella to approach classroom management in a calm and mindful manner. Stressing the importance of emotional intelligence, she emphasized that effectiveness hinges on the nature and underlying context of the children’s behaviour before determining the desired changes and selecting adaptive strategies tailored to individual needs.

Mdm Hou Jing sharing her insights.

An overarching theme highlighted during the session was the importance of fostering adaptability: ‘When your current methods prove ineffective, pivot and explore alternative strategies.’ This advice served as a guiding path, encouraging educators to engage in self-reflection and adapt their approaches as required.

The main takeaway is that educators must learn to reflect on their approach to guiding their children calmly and positively by consistently carrying out routines and processes that are deemed effective.

They were also told to model being fully present with the children, showing attentive listening and engagement. This sets a tone of respect and value, which children can learn to emulate.

Participants in discussion.

In addition, they were also urged to use positive guidance techniques to acknowledge and affirm each child’s personal efforts. This will allow children to make choices and take responsibility for their learning and help foster independence and greater self-confidence.

Following the workshop, several preschool educators shared feedback indicating that they have been empowered to seamlessly integrate the knowledge into their daily routines. They also learned to tailor these techniques to suit individual classroom dynamics, making learning more effective and enjoyable. This workshop has truly broadened their teaching toolkit, allowing them to embrace a more diverse and effective educational approach.

Mass group photo of all the participants who participated in the workshop.

For further information on this workshop and other CPD courses, click here.