Time Flies! We’re already about to enter our 5th week in Cape Town! The past two weeks have been action packed (as always). It’s always an adventure with these lovely group of people.
I have been reflecting on my role as a teacher in the classroom a lot these past few days.
One of my creches has been closed one out of the two days I volunteer per week since I’ve started due to various reasons that can not be controlled. On one of those days, My partner and I headed to another creche to help out since one of the girls was sick and stayed home. It was so great to see how different creches run and their different strengths. That day, since we had three extra hands, the Principal decided to take the older kiddos on a walk. She told us that they try to get the kids out to the park whenever possible since staffing can be hard so it’s rare the kids get a chance to go. We were greeted by different members of the community who wished us a good time as we walked to the park. It’s amazing to see the parks here because the structures are HUGE. The slides are so tall, the climbing dome is huge and majority of the park is cement. I couldn’t help but feel a bit scared for these kids but once they started playing, my worries melted away. Their gross motor skills are so advanced. It makes me think about how important trust, reassurance, and support can be when working with children. I remember when I first started working with infants, I was so worried watching the infants crawl down stairs. My head teacher reminded me that infants are more resilient and capable than we think and we need to give them space in order for them to grow.
I took a moment to breathe and reminded myself that my role as a teacher is to build children up so they can be autonomous and confident in their abilities. I need to be more conscious of my actions and my language and how they can indirectly impact childrens’ perceptions on their abilities.
While working at Rainbow, Karina and I were helping out with snack time. Some children could feed themselves while others needed a little more support. Usually, the younger ones would get help but that day, a few of the older ones were having a harder time focusing and eating so Karina and I focused on the older ones that day. It was yogurt so you can imagine how messy it got! Faranaaz came in to check up on the children and was so excited to see the few younger ones feed themselves. She exclaimed how proud she was of the children and how important it is that children get the opportunity to practice skills such as self-feeding. She expressed how transition routines are often rushed due to lack of staff support but would like to emphasize more language development and self-care skills. I agreed and stated that often I feel overwhelmed as a teacher when I feel like things get out of hand (i.e messiness). Faranaaz continued talking about how she could support the staff on days we aren’t here so that the Busy Bees can have the chance to expand their fine motor skills, without having time limitations on feeding times.
First day in Rainbow, feeding J (child on my right).
Week four: J feeding himself yogurt.
I’m excited to move forward the next few weeks with these moments in mind.