Sun | Aug 20, 2017

Being Christian teacher makes a difference, says Jody-Ann Harrison

Published:Saturday | February 20, 2016 | 2:00 AMShanna kaye Monteih
Jody-Ann Harrison
Harrison is the proud holder of a bachelor's degree in early childhood education.
Jody-Ann Harrison believes children's behaviour in school are greatly affected by what is happening in the home.
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Parents are often warned never to argue in the presence of their children, especially when they are very young.

Parental guides everywhere speak of the negative impact this may cause, but some parents just don't understand what they are doing to their children when they fight or call their spouse names.

Jody-Ann Harrison, 24, is a basic-school teacher who believes that children's behaviour in school are greatly affected by what is happening in the homes in which they live.

Harrison, a teacher of three-year-old children recalls a particular student who was very disruptive in her class.

"She would cry, run around the class, shout, or hit another child. Based on her behaviour, you could know that something was wrong," she said.

This led her to address the child.

"I began asking her what's wrong, why are you behaving like this and that's when she opened up and said she wants or misses her mommy.

"Whenever a child has to deal with separation in the home, he or she is affected emotionally and socially. When they are separated from a parent that they are close to, then that becomes very hard for them," she said adding that the child now seeks attention from their teachers and when they are not able to get the amount they require, then the tantrums begin.

Harrison told Family and Religion that being a Christian helps greatly when dealing with children who grow up in dysfunctional homes.

"There are days when the child will just sit and cry for her mommy. There is not much that I can do, but as a Christian teacher, I have to find strategies to deal with this child. I become a mother in the classroom.

I have her sit next to me and make sure she has duties to complete during class time. When she completes them, I reward her, make her feel special, and hug her," she said.

Harrison revealed that raw passion and the encouragements of her mother and past teacher willed her to go to college to be trained.

She is now a proud holder of a bachelor's degree in early-childhood education who has many years of experience under her belt.

"The beauty of teaching is when parents see that their children are learning. It's a joy being a teacher especially when you are having a bad morning and a child smiles and hugs you. They brighten my days," she said.

Harrison encourages parents to continue to be involved and to play an active role in the lives of their children whether they are together or separated.

familyandreligion@gleanerjm.com