2 stories, same messages. (Part 1)
The first story began four months ago when I learned to juggle between hospital, school and home; and when my whole energy of body, mind and soul was completely focused towards my mum’s recovery. To my immense delight, I found out that I can still function in my job. I remembered making frantic calls to pharmacies asking for a wheelchair, whilst standing near the shelves and directing a child on a floor mat. (I had to receive urgent calls from the pharmacist during working hours.)
This corner was empty when I walked into the school. I was shown to a few Montessori materials kept in boxes and stacked under sleeping mats and pillows. I couldn’t just let the materials to remain there and collect dust. So, I dug them out, cleaned them and found a house for them. Everything in the picture above are pre-loved and not in the best of condition but still usable. It’s funny when I think about how I got all excited simply seeing the small and big mats.
Now, all the shelves are filled with trays, bowls, dressing frames, ready-made play dough. There is a table that is placed at the opposite inside but that is not enough. I requested for a room which I doubt I will get one in this school. There are more materials in the box to be ‘recovered’ and I would love to use the outside area for washing activity but still waiting for a gate to be built for safety purpose.
Oops I didn’t mention that this area is called Practical Life area, did I? Yes, and I swear by it. I feel sorry for not using it according to Montessori’s philosophy when I introduce the activity to children who are turning four, and there is not much time for freedom of choice to occur. Lately, two new and very young children are using the materials because they just couldn’t cope with the book-based curriculum in the classroom. I also showed other teachers how to use the materials as a one-to-one activity with them for the purpose of settling into the routine.
My next mission: simple grace and courtesy, using the words ‘tolong’, ‘buang air kecil’, ‘buang air besar’, ‘terima kasih’, ‘ini cikgu’. Yes, I’m in a kindergarten where the main language is Bahasa Melayu, and they can hardly understand what I say in English.
I will reveal the second story in the next post. Upwards, me.
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