News from Godisang
Since the middle of January, the preschools and the after school programs are back in full swing. We have taken in a number of new children and it is really exciting to see how they change.. In the beginning there was only crying in the preschool children when their mothers disappeared, now, after five weeks, most do not even turn around when their mothers disappear at the door. They are eager to discover something new.
Interesting for us as educators is how the little ones from last year being now the “big ones” behave. Many things they had forgotten, and we have to show them the material again; but in the meantime we can ask them to show the smaller / newer children how to do it.
There is also a lot to discover for us as educators: the basic rule is that children should be shown a material from beginning to end; the teacher goes with the child to the shelf, picks up the material and then shows him how it is used. When done, the material is returned to its location so that the child knows where the material is kept. The new kids are now extremely impatient, they want to work with it before the teacher has finished. In our monthly internal Montessori training, there was a long debate about: may the child take over? Or should she/he wait until the end, even if possibly the child loses interest working with the material? Another hot question was, what are we going to do with children who are not working, who just walk around in the room, at times, disturbing the working children or the expecting that the teachers work with them?
Another Montessori principle is: The Three- hour-work cycle e.g. there are no meals during this time, no morning circle or story read, but every child seeks his/her work. This is very important, because without this you cannot find out if children are really working independently (in Montessori means, the child is normalized ). Of course, it will take a while for the new children to work for three hours on their own initiative. But it’s great to see how long children can work.
In Godisang, there is a two year old boy who wipes tables every day, sweeps, puts the chairs on the tables and then brings them down again. A huge job for a two year old. He is doing it because he does not want to sleep like the other children.
In two of our afternoon programs for the schoolchildren we have for the first time children who have also been in our preschool .They come proudly with their books and show us what they can already write. Azania is one of them. She was the first in the preschools to assemble the Africa puzzle.