Home » ExchangeEveryDay » Teacher Support Reduces Preschool Expulsion

ExchangeEveryDay Past Issues

<< Previous Issue | View Past Issues | | Next Issue >> ExchangeEveryDay
Teacher Support Reduces Preschool Expulsion
May 16, 2018
Life's most urgent question is: what are you doing for others?
-Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Preschoolers are expelled at three times the rate of their older peers,” declares Sara Neufeld in an article in the Hechinger Report. Neufeld explains about one resource for teachers that is helping stem the tide of expulsion in a program in Chicago:

“A few years ago, 4-year-old Danny was on the verge of being expelled from a Chicago preschool for violent behavior when a woman named Lauren Wiley was called in to help.

She met with the boy’s teacher, who thought he needed to be medicated for attention deficit disorder. But as Wiley listened, the teacher admitted she was angry at Danny, whose name has been changed to protect his identity. Her job was to keep her students safe, she said, and the boy’s aggression made her feel like a failure. Next, Wiley and the teacher met with Danny’s mom. As the teacher dropped her judgmental attitude, it came out that Danny had watched his father beat his mother and get taken away in handcuffs. No one had ever talked to the child about what he saw. He did not have ADD. He was reeling from trauma, and he needed his teacher to like him and want to help him, not to be rid of him. That began to happen when she heard his story…

Wiley is an early childhood mental health consultant. The job title often evokes an image of a baby on a couch talking to a therapist, but her work is about listening to adults so they can create an emotionally healthy environment for children. She trains teachers and others who work with young children to recognize the trauma that so often causes misbehavior. She supports them in confronting cultural biases and forging relationships with parents. She shows them how to recognize families’ strengths and promote mental wellness before problems develop.”

Source: "Expelled in preschool," by Sara Neufeld, Hechinger Report, February 22, 2015

The Art of Leadership
Developing People
in Early Childhood Organizations

Art of Leadership: Developing People in Early Childhood Organizations offers practical advice from leading experts in our field on selecting, training, and appraising staff, as well as promoting teamwork among staff members.

As a support to you, Developing People
is only $19 for a limited time.

Use code DEVELOPING when prompted.

Offer valid through August 14, 2018 at 11:59 pm Pacific Time.
May not be combined with any other offer.


Delivered five days a week containing news, success stories, solutions, trend reports, and much more.


What is ExchangeEveryDay?

ExchangeEveryDay is the official electronic newsletter for Exchange Press. It is delivered five days a week containing news stories, success stories, solutions, trend reports, and much more.

Onsolve - Start Your Free Trial Today.
Community Playthings - Outlast Cascade Supporting Outdoor Learning
Kohburg - Quality and Green for Kids You Love.

Comments (3)

Displaying All 3 Comments
Newton , NJ, United States
05/18/2018 05:57 am

The story is heartbreaking and yet provides hope and evokes understanding. Although I do also try to remember that children sometimes have lagging skills which also deserve attention and understanding.

Arlene DeCicco
McKor Shalon Nursery
Cherry Hill, NJ, United States
05/16/2018 5:37 pm

A very interesting article. The fact that most of the time there is always reasoning for every negative child behavior, and trying to reach out to adults in trying to find an answer, seems to be very helpful in remedying the situation. Also open communication with the child for a better understanding of what is going on, is very good.

D Creevey
Boyertown, PA, United States
05/16/2018 07:59 am

How was the trauma inflicted on the other students and parents addressed? It is equally traumatic for a young child to feel suddenly unsafe in his/her previously warm and loving classroom. and frightening for parents to arrive at the end of the day to pick up their injured, bruised, bitten child at a center in which they have placed their trust. Children who previously had no issues at drop off are suddenly tearful, fearful and clinging. Parents are no longer able to confidently go about their day.
Keeping children SAFE, and providing a warm, relaxed learning environment is our first job. Only with adequate , consistent support services can violent, unpredictable children be served in a center environment.

Post a Comment

Have an account? to submit your comment.


Your e-mail address will not be visible to other website visitors.

Disclaimer: Exchange reserves the right to remove any comments at its discretion or reprint posted comments in other Exchange materials.