Thursday, January 29, 2009

Play Clay

Today was quiet a dull day because the kids were in no mood for school after 5 days of holidays.
Few of the calm children were on leave making the others even more stormy than what they are usually.
In the morning they had fun making hand prints with paint and I introduced them to a few new songs today.
In the afternoon, I gave them some clay to work with and they tried to make flat circles and balls with it. Since their fine and gross motor skills are not yet developed, this exercise would help I thought.
They were very excited just trying to make the trunk of an elephant!!
Sometimes children can get onto your nerves also when they repeat mistakes which hurt themselves. But when they finally hurt themselves, I think the next time they take care. Till then its a bit tough to just warn them coz they hardly understand the consequence.
The best way to deal with this is to make sure theres nothing so dangerous within bounds of children. The maximum is they fall when they run and that shouldnt hurt so much if the floor is made of wood.
Today this happened to a child. Inspite of me telling him n ( n <5) times he would get hurt he ran fast and fell down. I even told him I wouldnt console him if he cried. I tried my best not to but then thats also tough. I think if I would have held on to my word, it would have been better but I went to him anyways!
After that ofcourse till end of the day he didnt run at his full speed in the class.

So thats that!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Dod-Dod

Yesterday, after the kids woke up from sleep, they were very restless.
Kept asking to be carried and were running and shouting all the time.

One kid kept repeating Dod-Dod. After every 5 minutes he would remember and say
Dod-Dod and start crying. We tried our best to understand what he wanted.
Finally one teacher asked him if he wanted to go downstairs and he nodded his head.
But then we couldnt go as they would not let the other kids work or play downstairs and his sister was downstairs and he would just want her to keep him.

So I managed to keep him for one more hour and then I thought I better go now as the other kids also kept going to the door and trying to open it.
When we went down, this kid ran to his sister and found his dod-dod (A dog soft toy!!!!)
I was so amused.. :)
If we give a child a toy, we shouldnt expect him not to want it. Its okay to give something harmless to a child.
If we dont want the child only playing pretend games all the time, we should give them real things to work with. To understand real life and to work with real things.
The things can be made small in size, but shouldnt be different in their function.

For example : Theres this plate of fruits which are made of wood. Two halfs of an apple stuck with welcrow. Then theres a plastic knife.
Now the child is supposed to learn cutting fruits using this equipment.
The child from then on assumes that a fruit needs to be joined and then cut.
It also assumes that theres no danger in cutting fruits with a knife. Wouldnt that be dangerous?
Instead if we let the child to be a bit older and explain the danger of a knife while he can understand and then let him use it, wouldn't that be more safe?

Chinese New Year

One week has passed and time flew and today I am exhausted.
Now I know why teachers are always tired no matter how good their kids are.

Today was Chinese New year celebration in my pre-school and the kids were very excited
as they wore new clothes and no uniforms. Most of them were dressed in chinese traditional dresses and looked really sweet.
Theres a twin pair in the children a girl and a boy. They pulled open their shirts and then refused to wear a new chinese dress after that. They wore an old T-shirt instead.
Sometimes kids are so weird!

So since we were supposed to only enjoy today, the kids routine was fully spoilt. They ate at a different time than everyday and slept at a different time. By the afternoon, they were so cranky that it was so tough managing them.

I had written in my last post that these kids dont hit each other "yet". I finally saw an 18 month old bite a 2.5 year old because she didnt have place to go somewhere!!
I tried explaining to her that what she did was wrong and she must say sorry. She said sorry but then she is simply too young to understand the meaning of the word sorry.
She probably knew she did something she shouldnt do in front of others.
But she did this twice and second time, I think she understood the graveness of the situation when the boy she bit wailed so loudly that the entire colony could hear!
This boy told by the other teachers is known to be the naughty of the lot. But though he is very active (running and shouting most of the time), I dont find him causing harm purposely to anyone.
Anyways, I'll slowly learn each of their behaviour and will create their profiles myself. There is no record as such about each kid. I'll start recording now.

Another thing I notice about children are they love hiding places. Like cockroaches they go and sit in a shelf or under a table or any corner in which they fit with difficulty.
My younger sister I remember was like that and my mom called her jhingur (which is cockroach in hindi :D )

I'll post some photos next week probably as I didnt take the camera on any day this week.
Theres one video in my phone and lets see how I can upload it here. video

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Second Day!

I got this idea about blogging my experiences in my pre-school only today and hence the second day is my first post.
For some background, I'll let you know few things.
I started working in a montessori Pre-School and yesterday was my first day as a full-fledged teacher. I was asked to work with the < 2 year olds and their teacher is about to leave. So till then, I need to get the knowledge transfer (yes here too there needs to be a knowledge transfer only that its different from the IT world).

So what was the day like? It started with some breakfast for the kids and then playtime in the playground. There is a slide and two see-saws in the garden and the younger ones love playing on everything. The first lesson I learnt was to hold a child only by his arm, never by his hand else the hand else the arm might get dislocated.

So after we played in the garden, the teacher plays a CD and sings along the rhymes playing. The children never get tired of the songs and keep saying "once more".

Then we read them small stories which explain simple concepts like who is your grandpa etc.
Now is the most crucial time of the day. Activity time. The children chose the montessori material in the room they want to work with and we guide them with the usage of them.
Most of the times, the children dont like being helped and love working independently.

But at the age of around 2, they cant yet hold their concentration for long and tend to get bored easily. Then if one of them is bored, she becomes cranky. If she starts being cranky, the other children slowly follow suit.
This is the biggest challenge I face. But I think more challenging and attractive material for the children might solve this problem.

The children are a pleasure to be with. They never hit each other as yet and I only pray they dont see anyone doing that ever.
One child has a beautiful smile and no matter what keeps smiling all day. This is something we ought to learn from them.
Another child is very active and can never sit in a single place for more than a minute. But I was amazed when he was punished by a teacher and asked to stand in a corner till she said its okay. He stood there quietly for 5 minutes and I even forgot about the incident but he was still standing there. My heart went out to him just then.
Children never cease to amaze us I guess!

I lost track of the routine I was talking about. Yes then they have lunch and both the days, I didnt see a single child making a fuss about not wanting to eat.
After lunch, we give them a bath and then put them to sleep. This is the most relaxing part of the day for us :). Its takes a while making them sleep and caring for each one of their habits of sleeping.

When they wake up, they have snacks and then we read out stories again and sing songs and ryhmes till end of the day.
When children start leaving one by one, noone cries. They are all used to the routine and dont get upset of not seeing their friends.
They wave the teachers goodbye cheerfully too.

This new life though hectic, am loving it! slurrrrppp...