A Day in the Life of Teacher Judi (A.K.A. Extreme Exercises in Patience)
In August, many of you decided to invest in our mission to hire a primary school teacher for Nairobi Children’s Home (NCH). As a result of your efforts, a talented teacher has been working hard Monday to Friday, week after week, to create a vibrant classroom experience for the nearly fifty children who call NCH “home.”
Six months in, what is it like to be Teacher Judi? How does she manage a one-room school full of peppy personalities jockeying for her attention? What for some less gifted teachers feels like a battle for Middle Earth (*cough* Jessie *cough*), Judi handles with calm understanding and bottomless positivity.
Here’s an inside look at her teaching strategies, philosophies of learning, and goals for 2015. Enjoy!
Q: Describe your daily teaching routine.
A: Due to the kind of children we deal with, we are allowed to work for 6 hours a day by the management, and that is from 9.00 am to 3.00 pm. We have our learning sessions in the morning and do different activities in the afternoon. Before we break for our lunch at 12.30 pm, we have usually covered 3 lessons a day, while in the afternoon, we carry on with our outdoor activities, that is activities of our own choice.
Q: How does teaching at NCH compare to your previous teaching experiences?
A: Teaching at NCH is quiet different from other normal school programs. In NCH, we not only equip the children with knowledge, but we also create a friendly environment where the child will feel completely comfortable. We have to bring up children who are of good morals and who can be accepted in the society.
Q: Tell us a little about the children. What are their learning abilities?
A: The children we have in the institution are children who are from traumatic backgrounds and the age range allowed is between 6 months to 8 years. Some of these children are deaf -dumb while others have partial hearing and visual impairment. Concerning their learning abilities, there are those children who are able to read and write while others totally need assistance from the teacher.
Q: Describe the ideal learning environment for a child.
A: A child needs a cool and warm environment in order to learn better. That is a close, kind, and warm atmosphere which will make a child to develop into a happy, cool, and controlled tempered person. But if the atmosphere is harsh and unfriendly, the child’s personality may be sour and unpleasant and this can affect the child directly, since the concentration span is so minimal.
Q: What techniques do you use to keep the children’s attention in a one-room school environment?
A: The techniques that are most effective at keeping children’s attention are learning through play, use of songs and dances, experiments and dramatizations, attending to individual interest, and through reinforcement and motivation.
A: My goals for the year 2015 in NCH are simple: to develop positive attitude towards learning and to bring up children who are of good moral in the society.
Q: What has been your most rewarding and your most challenging moments so far?
A: My most rewarding moment so far is spending good time with children, playing and getting to know one another better. My most challenging moment is when I am unable to solve a problem of a child, for example, behavioral problem.
Thanks to Jessie and Charity who have been very supportive all along!!