Thursday, September 17, 2009

Kindergarten artist

Yesterday was kindergarten day. I get to the kindergarten around 9:15 (leaving home around 8:45) for my first "class". I prefer to think of the 30 minute classes as "English Play Time". I've been teaching at this kindergarten for 20 years! GASP!

From 9:30 to 10:00 I am with the 5 year old class. Most of these kids have been coming to the kindergarten since they were 3 so they know me and I know them pretty well. In this class there are two autistic children but they cope pretty well and mimic the other children. Yesterday we went through the date,

"Today is Wednesday, September, 16."

And the weather,

"It's a sunny day."

And played around with food cards,

"Do you like bananas?"

Sometimes we play games, usually a song or two, sometimes a storybook. Recently I've been laying out name tags written in English and they try to find their own name.

From 10:00 to 10:30 I go to the 4 year old class and do similar things on a simpler level. I'm trying to teach these kids a song for the Christmas program (start early!) but these kids have got ants in their pants and I may have to change songs in the near future.

From 10:30 to 11:00 I'm with the three year olds and they sort of just repeat what I say, mimic my actions and work up enough courage to stand next to me and smile.

The 3, 4 and 5 year old classes have about 30 kids in each class and 3 or 4 teachers. There is almost always one physically or emotionally handicapped child in each class, sometimes two. (Sort of the kindergarten policy since most kindergartens will not accept children with special needs. The city usually provides other schools for those children.)

And finally I go to the 3 year old class, 3 year olds that have turned 3 after April of this year. These little ones have only been coming to kindergarten since the beginning of this month (still only two weeks!) and I have to practically crawl into this room (only 15 kids) because my height (5'3") scares them! Big scary foreigner! So I quickly sit down on their miniature chair and see if we can get through 10 minutes without too many tears. No crying yesterday! Yeah! The children in the littlest class will go home at 12:00 this month and then they will be on the regular schedule of 9:00 to 2:00, five days a week. It seems like a long time for such small children to be away from their mothers but my kids did it too and survived.

In one of the classrooms I spotted these absolutely adorable stuffed animals!!!

I went back after class to ask about them and sure enough, one of the kindergarten teachers had MADE THEM! She felted them!!! They are not stuffed! She bought raw wool and then felted them and molded them to animal shapes! Such a lot of work but SOOOOOO cute. The colors are wonderful! And then she handed me the storybook that she got the idea from. She designed these herself from the illustrations!

And then she showed me the "tapestry" she made from the book too! This is also hand felted (but of course flat) and is really a work of art!

I am amazed at all the talent that surrounds me!

No comments: