Thursday, October 31, 2013

Harriet's Project Reflections - Valley of the Moon Children's Centre

I’ve been volunteering in Tia Evelyn’s class in the Valley of the Moon Children’s Centre for a few weeks now. There are normally between 14 to 18 children aged 3 to 4 in the class. Tia Evelyn always manages to control the children, either with a look, a word by a threat to be sent to Tia Teo; whereas I haven’t got the authoritative aura yet. They don’t listen to me much, except when they want something, like to be pushed on the swings for example. This has given me a great respect for the Tias and the way they calmly deal with any situation that arises.

On my first day at the nursery I was really thrown into the thick of it as we were to take the children on a trip to the local Flower Show. You would think that getting the children from the nursery to the town hall next door would be simple, but then children often have their own ideas about where to go and get easily distracted. Tia Evelyn had organised the children so that they were lined up in pairs, holding hands and, just to be sure, holding the corner of the t-shirt in front of them.  My job was to stand at the back and make sure they behaved and didn’t wander off. For my first day it was definitely a challenge, but the trip was a success; no child was lost and they all got given a plant to take back to the nursery.

 I wasn’t sure what more we were going to do with the plants; 2 weeks had gone by and they were still in the bags we had bought them in. However, today, with the help of my handy Spanish book, Tia Evelyn explained we were going to plant them. The notion of a new activity usually triggers a slight sense of panic in myself and the tias, as the slightest change to the children’s routine can lead to some very excitable behaviour.  However the children were really interested and all wanted to join in. Tia Evelyn and I dug the holes whilst the children planted and watered their plants before getting back to the day’s activity.

This was a good change to their routine as the children were interested and got to learn about ecology in its simplest form; through the planting of flowers. As summer comes they should bloom and make the nursery an even more beautiful place to grow up.   

Written by Harriet Schofield
Edited by Sarah Cassidy

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