Child-Teacher Relationship Training, or CTRT, is an evidenced-based parent training program for children with behavioral, social and emotional challenges that has been adapted to be utilized with caregivers within the early childhood setting. The core belief focuses on a body of research that indicates that a strong, connected relationship between a child and their teacher(s) contributes to positive outcomes in academic, social, and emotional development for children.
What is Child-Teacher Relationship Training?
CTRT is 3-phase training model to address behavioral, social and emotional concerns that are present within the early childhood classroom. The model assumes that the child’s teacher has more potential to create lasting change in the life of the young child than a therapist may have. Instead of a therapist working directly, one-on-one, with a child who is exhibiting behavioral challenges, the therapist, or CTRT facilitator, works directly with the early childhood professionals who care for that child each day to teach the basic skills of Child-Centered Play Therapy to utilize within their classroom throughout the week.
How is it Structured?
Phase 1: Learning and Implementing the Skills with a “Child of Focus”
During Phase 1 of this process, the facilitator conducts the initial training, which introduces the early childhood professionals to some of the basic skills of Child Centered Play Therapy and how to incorporate those skills into a 30-minute, scheduled play time with a “child of focus” within their classroom. During this phase, initial assessments are completed related to behaviors of the “child of focus” and within the classroom, as well as the professionals’ stress level at the start of the program, to be used for program evaluation purposes.
Following this initial training, the facilitator then meets with the early childhood professionals in a small group format weekly, for 1 hour, to review their use of the skills within their interactions with the child of focus, provide feedback, and enhance skills.
During this phase, each early childhood professional will have the opportunity to share a recording* of a play session with a child of focus from their classroom to receive feedback and guidance on how to properly utilize the skills during one-on-one play times with that child.
*The facilitator will assist the professionals on selection of the “child of focus,” which will include conversations regarding the consent required from parents before beginning this process.
Phase 2: Reviewing and Implementing the Skills within Small Group Settings
During Phase 2 of the process, the facilitator meets with the early childhood professionals in a small group setting on a weekly basis, for 1 hour each time, to explore ways to adapt the skills already learned for use in a small group setting.
The facilitator will provide modeling and coaching in real-time within the classroom to support the use of these skills in daily interactions within the classroom with smaller groups of students.
Phase 3: Evaluation & Observation
During Phase 3, the facilitator observes the early childhood professionals in action within the classroom and completes evaluations to learn about the positive impacts for both the children and the professionals throughout the process. The early childhood professionals will receive feedback on their progress and guidance for the future. During this phase, post evaluations will be completed to assess directly for behavioral changes that have taken place within the “child of focus” and the general classroom climate, as well as changes that the professionals notice within themselves.
What are the Outcomes?
A review of the research shows that the utilization of Child-Teacher Relationship Training results in a statistically significant decrease in:
- Children’s externalizing behaviors (Defiance, attention-seeking behavior, etc.)
- Children’s disruptive classroom behaviors (behavioral outbursts, aggression, etc.)
- Children behavior being labeled as “clinical” levels of functioning
- A child’s total number of identified “problem behaviors,” and
- Teacher stress levels (results were significant, but not statistically significant)
A review of the research shows that the utilization of Child-Teacher Relationship Training results in a statistically significant increase in:
- Children’s ability to regulate their emotions,
- Children’s independence levels within the classroom,
- Children’s social emotional functioning
- Teacher/Child Care Professionals’ ability to connect and establish strong relationships with students,
- Teacher/Child Care Professionals’ level of patience within the classroom,
- Teacher/Child Care Professionals’ satisfaction and enjoyment with their work,
- Quality of relationships between teacher and students,
- Teacher/Child Care Professionals’ use of empathy and understanding of children within their classroom, and
- Teacher/Child Care Professionals’ ability to provide emotional support and education to children within their classroom.
Child-Parent Relationship Therapy (CPRT): An Evidence Based 10-Session Filial Therapy Model, by Garry Landreth & Sue C. Bratton (https://cpt.unt.edu/child-parent-relationship-therapy)
Teacher-Student Adapted Protocol Child-Teacher Relationship Training (CTRT) Therapist Manual, by Wendy P. Helker and Mary Morrison Bennett.
What is the Cost?
Child-Teacher Relationship Training can be administered in a variety of ways to meet the work hours of early childhood professionals. The cost varies, depending upon if the preferred method of an intensive 2-day training is selected, or weekly hourly training sessions, as well as depending upon the number of professionals who are enrolled in the training protocol.
How Do I Get My Early Childhood Program Signed Up?
For questions about the cost or logistics, or inquiries to get started with the Child-Teacher Relationship Training program for your early childhood program, contact Emily Learing at Emily@SiouxFallsCounseling.com.