On Tuesday, December 18, on the fast day of Asara B’Tevet, following an early dismissal, early childhood teachers at Stein Yeshiva participated in a professional development seminar with Dr. Tamar Blank, child psychologist.
Dr. Blank is an expert in cognitive behavioral therapy and has extensive experience using cognitive behavioral interventions while working with children, adolescents and families with a wide range of diagnoses in individual, family, couple and group therapy.
During the professional development training, Dr. Blank covered topics specifically relevant to early childhood educators, including: specific language we use to speak to children, anxiety and emotion regulation, reflective listening and increasing motivation in children.
On the topic of anxiety and emotion regulation, Dr. Blank emphasized the importance of validating a child’s feelings. “Children need to know that experiencing sadness and frustration is acceptable in any setting, whether at home or at school. When a child is feeling sad or frustrated, a teacher or parent can help that child by validating what that child is experiencing and feeling.” For example, a teacher or parent can say to a child in distress, “I see that you are sad right now. It is okay to feel sad and cry. I am here for you.”
Ongoing professional development takes place all throughout the year at Stein Yeshiva. The early childhood teachers are eager to implement Dr. Blank’s professional and valuable knowledge in their day-to-day classroom management, teaching and learning.
Dr. Tamar Blank graduated with highest honors from Queens College. Upon graduation, she was inducted into Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology and the Golden Key International Honor Society. Dr. Blank runs parenting workshops and professional development for schools in the Riverdale and Westchester areas.
To find out more about Dr. Blank, please visit her website at www.drtamarblank.com.
By Davida Fried