With a pine-tree branch, which is commonly seen in the mountain, held in her hand, a teacher asks amiably: everybody, what color is this branch in your hand? The children reply with one voice: green. And the teacher asks again: what does it look like? Then the answers are different between one and another: it’s like a needle, it’s like a string…which can be used to sew clothes; it’s like a broom, which can be used to sweep floors; it’s like a fan, which can be used to produce winds…Do you know what it is going on? Correct, it’s a quite an unusual preschool education class.
Just as the imagination on the pine-tree branch stops, the teacher takes out a prepared pine cone and asks: does anyone know where a pine cone comes from? As the children shake the pine-tree branches in their hands, the teacher asks again: can you dress the pine cones up with beautiful clothes? Then the children start to paint decorative pine-cone pictures after answering “yes” with one voice.
Some of the children absorbedly paint their pine cones into different colors, and some children just cannot stop painting on pine cones of the children beside them, and of course, their neighbors may move away the pine cones in silence to show their discontentment, while some may reply with “don’t touch my pine cone” to defend their pine cones! At last, a pile of colorful pine cones are brought in front of the teacher!
It is Longling Jueyeba preschool, which was just started two months ago. The teacher has an education background of junior middle school only, but just after receiving 20 days of initial training of HUMANA and a two-time 3-day monthly training, she is able to present a class full of lifelikeness through lively activities drawing on local resources, and this could not happen without her deep love for children.
Yang Chunbo, the project leader tells me that it is in “little tadpole finding its mom” that she concentrated herself most, because in order to achieve the best result, the teacher has specially caught some tadpoles and little frogs in the river.
The moment we arrive, the children are just at the time to get up from afternoon nap, and we see the whole process of their getting up and washing: the children make their bed by themselves (with the teacher’s help at the final stage), get water, brush their teeth, wash their faces and pour water in line. A volunteer from Societe Generale, who is also a mother of a 5-year-old child, is deeply impressed and says: my child will need help to finish these things, and when I go back home I will tell him about my experience here. I joke and say: you’d better take him with you here next time.
The right way to preschool education: game is the most basic activity, and we should make full use of local natural resources and all kinds of scrap materials to expand children’s interest in nature and release their natural instincts, making preschool education return to the true color of children themselves.
May all dear teachers retain their original aspiration of love for children and persistently move forward.