Today was my first attempt at leading the nursery school class.  But before I get into that, let me tell you a little bit about school here.  School started on Tuesday September 8.  There were only about 25 students who showed up, so they cleaned the school yard, but no learning that day.  Each day there was a few more students that showed up, and I was told that on Monday, most of the students would show up.  And they were right! By Monday there was probably over 90 students and more today, so who knows how many there will be by next week.

Not sure how but I seemed to get assigned to the smallest children’s class room.  The room gets divided into two groups, but by today there are about 40 students between two and six years old.  The younger group of 2-4 year olds has 28 children, one teacher, one aid and myself.  Many of the small ones just cry, so it is more like a day care, trying to calm crying children. But that’s fine, I thought they might be afraid of me being white, but most are happy to be held and just want to touch my skin.

Yesterday after the songs and dances that they all do, Jacklyn came over to me and asked if I had prepared anything for the children to do.  I was a little surprised, and felt badly that I had not.  But told her that I would for tomorrow.  So yesterday, I went through some of the educational materials here at the house and found colors, and I made of index cards with numbers 1,2 &3.  Now you also have to remember that these 2-4 year olds don’t yet know English, so I knew this would be challenging!

So after their songs, Jacklyn asked me if I wanted to take over, I said sure, but she would need to translate for the children.  I went through the colors asking them to repeat them, and then looking for them in the room. I also had a book of colors that had different textures that they could feel, so we did that.  Next I handed them each 3 index cards with the number on them and asked them to find #1, 2, 3. Only a couple got this one.  So I collected them, and asked if they would listen to a book.  I had a Bernstein Bears book that had different color cars.  I sat on the floor and they came over, but hard to show the pictures to 28 children! I had not planned on reading it, but rather showing them the pictures and story.  Not sure that was much of a success either as they were all talking.  It still wasn’t time for break, so we decided to give them each a colored pencil, and a paper plate and let them color it.

They went out for recess and came back and it was rest time.  I was amazed that probably three quarters of them fell asleep. Of course always a few that can’t keep still, but here the teachers can “beat” them.  They have a small thin stick and hit them lightly, but usually stops them and often brings tears.

Will need to figure out what to do tomorrow…if anyone has any ideas on things to do with two year olds who don’t speak English, I’d love to hear about them!


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