Presentation Title

Temperament: A Practical Approach in Meeting Individual Needs

Primary Presenter Brief Bio

While I have learned so much in my direct-care roles and experience as an ECE administrator, I am proud to presently be the Professional Learning Manager for Child Care Resource and Referral of Southeast Georgia at Savannah Technical College. I write, coordinate, and facilitate training within our 34-county region in support of Quality Rated and best practices in the field of Early Childhood Education, and currently am focusing on training for administration as well as implementing Professional Learning Communities in Southeast Georgia

Type of Presentation



Room 2911

Topic Category

Strand 2: Nurturing Healthy Children

Targeted Age Group

Infant, Toddler

Targeted Audience

Family Child Care, Child Care Center

Brief Session Description

Learn the nine traits of temperament categorizing three main temperament types. Explore guidance techniques complementing different temperament types and discuss importance of “goodness of fit”.

Full Session Description

-Welcome participants, go over housekeeping items

-Go over agenda and goals for session, which will be shown on a presentation as a visual aide. Agenda and goals will include:

-Looking at the definition of temperament

-Word scramble

-Video presentation

-Large group discussion

Goal 1-Identifying nine traits of temperament

-Large group discussion

-Video presentation


-Partner activity

Goal 2-Identifying three temperament types

-Large group discussion

-Resource review

-Small group activity

-Action planning

Goal 3-Learning caregiving techniques for different temperament types and how to use these techniques in their everyday work

-Participants will complete sign-in sheets at this time

*Materials: sign-in sheets, presentation

The definition of temperament will be posted on the presentation. This definition will be read (either by the facilitator or a volunteer) as “early-appearing patterns of observable behavior that are presumed to be biologically based and that distinguish one child from another.” -Rothbart & Derryberry, Zero to Three, March 2004).

-Facilitator will explain that right from the start, babies are different. Then the following key concepts will be discussed, using the presentation as a visual resource:

-Temperamental traits are a person’s natural tendency to respond

-Traits remain fairly constant throughout life

-Traits begin to appear in the first few months of life

-Each of us learn techniques to help us moderate our “extreme” traits

*Materials: presentation

-Now participants will be told that we are going to learn about these temperamental traits. Researchers have identified nine temperament traits of children. Participants will be asked to utilize an elbow partner to complete a word scramble activity to learn what these nine traits of temperament are.

*Materials: word scramble worksheet

-Participants will now be told that they are going to view a video which explains these nine temperament traits. If there are traits from the word scramble that they did not solve, they can complete it from information in the video. They will be asked to think of children in their program as they watch the video. Participants will receive Handout #7-Your Temperament Assessment Scale, which lists and gives descriptions of the nine traits of temperament. They will be told that they can use this as a reference while viewing the video, but will utilize this handout at a later point in the class for a different activity.

-At the completion of the video, discussion questions will be presented to the large group, including:

-Can you visualize children in your program and where they fall within these nine traits? Who would like to share an example?

-Are all of the children in one class the same? What are the implications of this difference on you as teachers?

-Facilitator will wrap up this discussion of the nine traits by stating that typical classrooms are filled with children who fall in many different places on each trait’s continuum, and that where they fall dictates how teachers need to be interacting with children and meeting their needs.

*Materials: “Flexible, Fearful, or Feisty” Video, discussion questions, Handout # 7

-The large group will now be asked to explain what the following terms mean to them. A chart up front with the terms in three headings will be used to document answers. The three terms are: FLEXIBLE, FEARFUL, AND FEISTY. We will discuss that as a group, each column (and term) represents a type of temperament that is made up of certain combinations of the temperament traits. The following information will be pointed out regarding the three temperament types:

-Most U.S. children fit into 1 of 3 combinations (hence the three types)

-Flexible children make up 40%

-Feisty children make up 10%

-Fearful children make up 15%

-35% of children do not fit into these three categories

-Each of these groups of children need different things from our programs.

*Materials: Chart paper, markers

-Participants will now watch the video Flexible, Fearful, or Feisty (the sections on the temperament types). The video will be introduced by saying that knowing specifics about each temperament type can help us better respond to each child. The participants will learn from the video that understanding each child’s individual needs, including needing something slightly different from our teachers, environments, and programs, can help remind us to always look at children as individuals, even in our group settings. Participants will be asked to take note of specific things that each type of temperament need from us as teachers, which will be used in a later activity.

*Materials: Video (Flexible, Fearful, or Feisty), Video magazine

-In order to illustrate this last point of children having different individual needs of the environment, participants will engage in an individual reflection activity. They will utilize Handout #7-Your Temperament Assessment Scale, and complete a self-assessment. Then they will utilize Handout #8- Chart of Temperament Traits and plot their results from the assessment.

*Materials: Handout #7 and #8

-Participants will then reflect with a partner. Participants will take their plotted charts and work with someone they do not already know, if possible. They will be allowed time to discuss the differences in their charts, in their temperaments, and in what they may need from the environment, teachers, and program if they were children in a classroom together. Specific questions they will discuss include:

-Are you seeing some potential conflict areas in which you may need different things?

-Do you consider one of the charted answers, “easier to deal with”?

-Can you see how this conflict is present in all of the classrooms in your program?

-What do you think can be done to help alleviate some of these potential conflicts?

*Materials: Completed assessment charts, discussion questions

-Participants will now discuss the concept of “goodness of fit” using visual aids in a presentation. Content will include:

-Understanding temperamental differences within our classrooms helps us realize that the caregivers need to be able to adapt to different needs of different children.

-We need to place a high priority on responsive caregiving, and creating a “goodness of fit” for every child in the group. There is a “goodness of fit” when the demands, expectations, and responses of the caregiver are compatible with the child’s temperament, abilities, and other characteristics.

-The quality of the relationship between individual children and their caregivers depends largely on this “goodness of fit”, so we as caregivers need to realize what is necessary to adjust to create this fit with each individual child we have in our care.

-So how do we create this “goodness of fit” with each child if they all need something different? Participants will now get to utilize the information they learned in the video, along with a resource handout, Flexible, Fearful, or Feisty; The Different Temperament Styles of Infants and Toddlers.

-Participants will be split into groups and assigned a specific temperament type. Each group will discuss and chart (in their own words) the following:

-Characteristics and traits of this temperament type

-What children of this temperament type need from caregivers

-Specific examples of caregiving techniques that can be used (situational) with this temperament type.

-Each group will have a chance to report out to the larger group on what they learned, so that everyone is gaining information on each temperament type.

-Taking it back to practice-

-Participants will now get to make some individual plans in order to help them meet the needs of the specific children that they work with. They will utilize a handout with the three temperament types listed in columns to list children that they work with who they believe fit in these types. They will also list at least one specific action step that they are going to take to help create a better “goodness of fit” and responsive style to meet that individual child’s needs. They will utilize the back of the handout to list children who may not fit into one particular type, but that they have learned have specific traits that they can now identify. They will list one or two specific traits and what that child may need from them as a caregiver.

*Materials: Action planning Sheet

-In conclusion, goals will be reviewed and main points related to each goal will be reiterated.

-Participants will be given the training evaluation. Certificates will be handed out among completion.

*Materials: copies of training evaluations and certificates

Start Date

January 2018

End Date

January 2018

This document is currently not available here.


Jan 20th, 2:45 PM Jan 20th, 4:00 PM

Temperament: A Practical Approach in Meeting Individual Needs

Room 2911

Learn the nine traits of temperament categorizing three main temperament types. Explore guidance techniques complementing different temperament types and discuss importance of “goodness of fit”.