Author: Yan Kezhu, a teacher of Fatu nursery class in Baihetan Town, Qiaojia County
Some teachers may prefer quiet kids because they are obedient, well-disciplined, saving teachersa lot of trouble. However, for those kids who are way too “naughty and troublemaking”, teachers may treat them otherwise.
But in my view, teachers need to take an unusual approach of education and guidance towards these kids by identifying a proper point of entry, and giving educational guidance so that they would make step-by-step changes in their behavior, and gradually integrate into the group of kids.
Xiaopeng, a kid in my class, is a case in point. He is very active, and he would play a “trick” on teachers from time to time. When everyone was playing games together, he would sneak away when I didn’t notice and run around the playground to make me chase after him. I was panting, out of breath. In the classroom, he would hide under the desk and play “hide and seek” with me. He is already rather famous in the class for he always grabs everyone’s attention. Xiaopeng’s mother once told me: “My son is particularly stubborn, please be strict with him, otherwise he won’t listen to you.”
How to educate such a “free spirit”? My point of entry is - looking for his strengths. After observing for a while, I found that Xiaopeng is quick to respond and understand. In finger games, he was also quick to follow the rhythm and movement, then I would give him timely praise and encouragement. He is well-liked and loves to make friends. He would, without fail, share his breakfast with good friends. Hanhan, one of his classmate, didn’t come to the kindergarten one day, so he asked me with great concern: “Where is Hanhan? Why didn’t she come to class?” He cares about other kids, and I can truly tell that from what he says and does. I have come to understand him differently with these observations. I kept encouraging him time and time again for Xiaopeng to get positive emotional experiences. In this way, he would behave more positively. In no more than two months, Xiaopeng changed a lot as he has become more focused in class and active in answering questions.
I remember an educator once said: “We must be good at spotting children’sstrong points and unique values, providing each one of them with the opportunity to demonstrate their strengths and get success, as well as bolster their self-esteem and confidence in an effort to educate them in a unique way for the better.”
Treating children and communicating with them in a different way may lead to unexpected results, just try it!
This case comes from Humana’s Rural Community Nursery Class Project in Qiaojia County, and Yunnan Representative Office of Humana People to People (Switzerland), entrusted by the Education Bureau of Qiaojia County, offers technical support services for the project and sets up 5 community nursery classes in Qiaojia County. The project aims to help lift poor children out of poverty. Idle or surplus classrooms and activity rooms in local schools can be converted into classrooms to set up nursery classes in the natural villages of remote and impoverished areas. Teachers of nursery classes can be hired and trained locally. Meanwhile, a parent committee can be set up to facilitate schools and the project in managing nurseryclasses. Generally speaking, nursery classes accept children aged 3-6 to form a class of mixed age groups. Participation in nursery classes would prepare children in remote rural areas for their entrance in primary schools.
The article only represents the author’s opinion, not necessarily the views of the donors.