• ‘Incredible Years’ Promotes Life Skills

    Early Childhood Education, or preschool, in District 50 designates several days a week to creative learning and positive energy known as “The Incredible Years Training Series”.

    “Incredible Years” is designed to give young children the skills they need to confront day-to-day challenges they face in the classroom. In turn, it helps to prevent aggression and reduce mental and emotional problems as they mature.

    “Incredible Years” also promotes social problem solving inside and outside of the classroom, primarily in low-income communities.

    Teachers often use puppets as a tool for their instruction. They are used to act out real-life situations and initiate the conversations between teacher and students. The puppets allow children to let their guard down and focus on solutions such as stopping, thinking and breathing before reacting to difficult or frustrating situations.

    “The students who are shy or quiet with me will in turn open up with the puppets. It's a great way to model social skills and it's more fun to teach!” said Early Childhood Educator Leona Lawless.

    Students also share stories about when they were upset by someone at home or school and then practice sharing and giving simple compliments to each other as such as, “I like your necklace”.

    D50 Early Childhood Education Instructional Director Mathieu Aubuchon believes the skills that ‘IY’ teaches will transfer into their adult life and prevent delinquent behaviors. “I have seen a difference in how our students act with one another. They also seem to be task-oriented and cooperate well with their teachers,” said Aubuchon.

    "Incredible Years" extends beyond the classroom as well. Parents are encouraged to embrace the teaching and become more nurturing of their children. They are also expected to increase their involvement with their child’s school. D50 and ‘Incredible Years’ offer a parenting class to accompany the program.

    Aubuchon recently invited District 50 elementary school principals and administrators to attend an “Incredible Years” session and observe its effectiveness. He hopes it will continue showing results and become utilized by Kindergarten classes as well.

    Posted February 27, 2014