Reposting this again as this was published in 2009 when there were not many blogger friends.
I started my teaching career way back in 1985. I had the zest and love to teach only the tiny tots, upto age 4 (although I have a B.Ed degree) as I feel they are too innocent and it is a pleasure interacting with them. Later, in 1994 when we had to change our country of residence, I opted for an office job for personal reasons and stuck to it till 2004. I became busy with other responsibilities of life and whenever I was free, I had the urge to go back to my roots of teaching tiny tots. One of my good friend who is the head of a local kindergarten school paved the way by asking me to take up temporary proxy jobs for the time being as I was not yet ready to get committed to a full time job.
Here is my first write up with the first class. Just came back home after a lovely time with Sr.KG children. It was a class of 23 children, all in the age group of 4-5years old. Their class teacher was on emergency leave and I was given the task of taking care of this class till she resumed duty.
As soon as I entered the class, the first reaction was confusion and questions in all their faces. Their faces interpreted as if I had come to the wrong room. But slowly, as the day progressed, I won their hearts (Was definitely not an easy task). I had to make them learn and write '21 to 30' in words today and numbers 451 to 500.
The first hitch came when I started using color chalks to write on the board, the colours which were not the same as their teacher uses. Instantly, they objected in chorus. I reasoned out and finally with great reluctance, they agreed. All politicians!!!!!! . Most of them were quite neat and quick in their work. The number work was just five minutes for most of them. I was able to see the ones who finished early helping the others. Later, there was some reading from their English and other text books.
After all the studies for the day was done, there was a request from most of them to do some drawing. I obliged and told that I would personally draw something in their notebooks and they would have to colour it. After elaborate debates and discussions, they settled in for a butterfly.I looked around the classroom for a butterfly picture but found none. So I started my freehand drawing on the blackboard and with some alterations here and there, it sort of resembled a butterfly. But, when I drew the feelers. they termed it as antenna and I could hear a mass giggle about the same. I made them stand in line and bring me their drawing books one by one and begin to draw. By the time, I reached the fifth book, my butterfly was so beautiful and it looked as if it was ready to fly.
Then came the colouring part and I asked two of the naughtiest boys to help me in distributing the crayons which is kept in safe custody inside the cupboard. Upon hearing this, there was a sudden rush to my table who wanted to help me out tracing the keys to the cupboard, the location of the crayons etc etc. I could see the leadership quality in each one of them, trying to air their individual views. I was flooded with suggestions. There was total chaos in the class but it settled down in a jiffy as their crayons arrived on their desks. Phew !!!
The whole class would be talking most of the time and would resemeble a market place. They have lots and lots to communicate amongst themselves and sometimes would come to my table too with the conversations. If I had to talk to them, over and above their voices, it was impossible. I would start to speak very softly and within a couple of minutes, there would be absolute silece in the class, eager to listen to what I am saying. My throat became a little rough after nonstop dialogues. When I called the helper to provide me water, one girl came to my table and advised me to have hot water instead. On hearing this, I was dumbstruck. either she is so observant or she might be repeating her mother's words. During the snack break, many came to me offering a taste of their snacks.
This was the last 45 minutes of the day and I had to tell them a story. One wanted Spiderman, the other one wanted Batman and almost all the girls wanted either Barbie or Princess story. My thoughts swung into action and I settled in for Thumbelina. I tried to recall and get the exact sequence of the story. As I was narrating the story, I could see them all drift into Thumbelina's world. It was so divine to watch their expressions. I have to get prepared with another beautiful story for tomorrow. Thinking of taking my daugher's Fairy tales book for extra effect.
It would be unfair if I do not mention about the small instant fights amongst the boys and the petty fights among the girls which would be looked upon to me for a resolve. The bell rang and they were getting ready to leave with a big gleam in their face. Some came to me and wished Goodbye, some gave a friendly smile but there were a few who still did not make friends with me. Hopefully, by the time my last class is done, I will not be surprised if a tear starts peeping out of my eye when I say Goodbye to these wonderful children.
Children will soon forget your presents. They will always remember your presence - Anonymous