- help to clean up and put back the materials on the shelves
- know the daily routine well - where to keep their shoes, put their bags, their water bottles
- know when it's time to line up and be attentive during assembly
- are able to go up the stairs quietly and in a straight line (they couldn't do so when they were 4!)
- eat independently and tidily
- they share their stationery and are responsible enough to return them to the rightful owners
- and many more that make me burst with a sense of pride.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
1st few days of 2010
Phew!!! It has been a hectic few days ... there are many new children coming in this year. And many of them are 3 and 4 year olds.
The first day was relatively under control as most of the new children were accompanied by either Mum or Dad. There was no separation anxiety in this case, except for two 3-year olds. I've actually advised the Mums to stay back and help their children to settle in. However, they believe that the children will only cling on to them. Well, what can I say? The poor children cried and cried! And, the poor teachers tried their best to console them. Fortunately, by today, they've already settled down. There is much less crying today.
There is another group of children who is so curious about the new school surrounding and took to exploring many things and materials. I would say that we have to constantly clean up after them. They have yet to be "normalised" - a term used by Maria Montessori to mean that the child understands the ground rules and has the intrinsic motivation to keep things in order, to take and return the materials in the proper position as well as work independently, joyfully and with a purpose. At this point of time, they are very excited and took many materials from the shelves, mix them up and often leaving them on the table and floors. That's why we are so...soo tired! And busy that there was no time for the first day, second day or third day photos!
However, I am very happy that our older children are happy to come back after the long break. They are happy to see their friends, meet their teachers and get acquainted with their new classroom and also to be reacquainted with the ground rules (some have forgotten!) We keep ground rules to the minimum and they are:
EYES ON TEACHER
HANDS TO SELF
CARE FOR MATERIALS
I'm glad to see many of them helping the younger/newer children to feel at home. There is a lot of compassion and care amongst the children. Despite the busyness (I wouldn't call it chaotic as there is actually coordination and purpose amidst the activities that are all happening at the same time), the older children are like an anchor that holds everything together. I don't know if you understand what I mean?
Let me try to make it clearer. They set good examples through the following actions:
The 5 and 6 year olds:
Kudos to the teachers! We must have done something right last year to see the results now. I guess the children are also proud to be the older brothers and sisters this year.
As a teacher, these are the things that make our day. As I've always mentioned, academic progress is important. Nevertheless, these interpersonal and intrapersonal developments are equally, if not more important.