Our Work with Schools and Communities

Emotionally Responsive Practice

Girl laughing, Emotionally Responsive PracticeEmotionally Responsive Practice at Bank Street offers ongoing professional development, teacher support, coaching, and other on-site services to early childhood and elementary school programs. Our services build on the well-documented connection between emotional well-being, learning, and positive peer relationships. We help educators and administrators develop emotionally responsive school routines, curricula, and adult-child interactions that support all children, including those with a traumatic history.

Emotionally Responsive Practice is built on a deep understanding of child development, research on the effect of social and emotional experience on the developing brain, and the proven positive effects of working partnerships between educators and school-based clinicians.


Techniques & Applications:

  • Using reflective language, literacy, and curriculum to heighten engagement and attention and strengthen connections between teachers and children
  • Building opportunities for self-expression into the structure of the school day to prevent outbursts and help children achieve emotional balance in the classroom (i.e., “inviting and containing”)
  • Using transitional objects (e.g., teddy bears) to promote classroom community and enhance empathy for self and others
Safe and Sound Schools Conference audience

Bank Street's Safe & Sound Schools Conference

This annual conference invites professionals from elementary schools and early childhood programs to engage in a deeply interactive study of emotionally responsive practice. Participants learn about child development, the social and emotional foundations for learning, parent engagement, and the mastery of supportive techniques for building safe and nurturing school communities.
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