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December 27, 2019 Friday 10:38:18 AM IST

Just A KG Teacher!

Guest Column

Every parent has dreams and aspirations for their child as it gets ready to enter the world of learning.  The pre-school acts as a transition stage between home and formal schooling. As the child's first experience away from the familiar environment and comforts of home, the Kindergarten teacher is in some way like a mother - but not completely.  There are many children of the same age and the teacher must attend to all of them equally. As the early years of learning are very important, a KG Teacher has to take much care to turn every interaction at school into enjoyable learning adventure for the child. She has to stop playing serious to seriously play.  She has to do less correcting for more connecting.She has to take her eyes off her watch and watch with her eyes. She has to tug less and hug more. She has to make more hikes to fly more kites. Every child is different and has something to tell. It may be a sport, or playing a musical instrument, or can be good at making friends. It's a special gift or talent. A teacher observes, recognises, records and helps each child to develop the inborn talent. She plans the activities so carefully and they are mostly skill orientated than age specific.

She takes utmost care to make curriculum interesting and materials varied. She spends time together with groups of kids when introducing topics like weather, clock, calendar,colours and also for storytelling and games. She takes pain to set her class room differently with areas for children to explore and discover. (A corner with shells, rocks, magnets, feathers, marbles etc )to which the child can add on. She has to set updisplay area for news,photos, and drawings. She may make a small salad garden where children can sprout seeds.A KG Teacher knows no boundaries. She sits patiently with all children helping them in their activities like colouring, threading, lacing, modelling, playing puzzles etc. She is out helping them with the swing, slide , merry- go-round and to change them into swimsuits and back to uniform and towel them dry on splash pool days .She is not just on her toes but on her knees moving from table to table helping babies to open their bags,  tiffin boxes, feeding them patiently and helping them to go to toilet. Above all she teaches them to speak, read and write and that too more than one language, numbers, etiquette, values, engaging them in co-curricular activities and what not.  As there is no resource room in the KG and with the increase in autistic and dyslexic children, she is the first mentor and counsellor to the helpless kids giving individual attention to boost up their fragile image. She is also the choreographer, costume designer, co-ordinator and make-up man for all functions. At the end of the day, after all these creative and committed efforts, in the public eye she is just a KG teacher! Isn’t it strange they not command the same respect and stature of the counterparts in primary and high school? A big salute to the true architects of the future.

Rita Urmis Thettayil

The writer is a renowned pre-school administrator and former Headmistress of Rajagiri Christu Jayanthi Kindergarten and Jeevass CMI Kindergarten,  Aluva.

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