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Redirecting behaviours: how to do it as a casual

Casual educators in the ECEC sector play a critical role in providing education and care for young children. However, they face unique challenges when it comes to guiding behaviour.

Casual educators may not have the same level of familiarity with the children as permanent educators, which can make it difficult to understand and manage challenging behaviours. In this article, we will explore strategies for redirecting behaviours for casual educators in the ECEC sector.

Understanding and observing

Building relationships with children is a valuable tool for understanding their behaviour and responding appropriately. While casual educators don’t always have the time to build relationships, they can still take the time to introduce themselves to the children, learn their names, and engage in conversations with them. This will help to build a sense of trust and rapport with the children, which will make it easier to manage challenging behaviours.

Where possible, it is recommended that casual educators take a little time to observe the behaviour without immediately reacting. This will allow them to understand what triggers the behaviour and what strategies might be effective in redirecting it.

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The power of positive reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is a powerful tool for redirecting behaviours. Educators can use positive reinforcement by providing praise and recognition when a child exhibits positive behaviour. This can include acknowledging when a child is sharing or being kind to others. Positive reinforcement can help to encourage positive behaviours and encourage children to continue exhibiting those behaviours.

Offering choices is an another effective way to redirect behaviours. Educators can offer children a choice between two acceptable behaviours. For example, they can ask a child whether they would like to play with blocks or read a book. Giving children a choice can empower them and make them feel in control of their environment.

Modelling behaviours

Children learn by observing and imitating others. Educators can model appropriate behaviour by exhibiting the behaviours they would like to see in children. For example, if a child is exhibiting aggressive behaviour, the educator can model calm and respectful behaviour in response. Modelling appropriate behaviour can help to set a positive example for the children and encourage them to exhibit similar behaviour.

Calming strategies can be helpful for managing challenging behaviours. Casual educators can use strategies such as deep breathing exercises or sensory activities to help children calm down. For example, they can encourage a child to take deep breaths or provide sensory toys to help them relax. Calming strategies can help to de-escalate challenging behaviours and promote self-regulation.


Communication and seeking support

Communication is essential for managing challenging behaviours. Communicating with parents and permanent educators gives casuals a better understanding of a child’s behaviour and can help them develop effective strategies for redirecting problematic behaviours. 

Seeking support can help to develop effective strategies and ensure that the children are receiving the best possible care and education.

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