Today was my designated day to observe in the Marine Drive classroom. I sat down with my book in a corner looking forward to the next hour or two. Classroom observations can be so eye opening and sometime very entertaining too.
A new child – Karan, who joint just last week was upset. He was walking around following one teacher who had now become his secure net. He was continuously calling out to go to his mama when the teacher asked him to get a mat and brought out some wild animal cards. As soon as the envelope came out the boys eyes lit up. The teacher laid out the cards one by one and the child started naming the animals. “Lion. I have a thick mane of hair.” “Tiger. Grrr…” The child knew the names of every animal in the pack and talked on about each animal. The teacher was happy to see his enthusiasm and added on more interesting facts about the animals they saw. Now it was time for the adult to move on and direct another child who was working with subtraction material. She told Karan to look at the cards and that she would come back after sometime. She asked Jian to help him. However Jian was quite happy polishing a stool and didn’t want to be disturbed. However, Aman who was pouring Rajma next to Karan was happy to be of help. Karan showed each animal one by one and Aman proudly gave every name. Karan looked at the cards a few more times and seemed done; he walked over to aunty and asked her to come back but aunty was busy. Sia who had just put away her work, noticed Karan’s plight. She sat down and showed Karan how to put each card back in the case. She showed one and then told Karan, “Now you put it away like I did.” Karan slowly put the cards back. He was upset again. Sia was next to him and told Karan to roll his mat but Karan did not want to. Seeing this Sia, barely 3.5 years, rolled the mat for Karan and told him to put it back. Karan put the mat away.
Aman who had been working on pouring Rajma had a spill. Sia who was now tracing the sandpaper sounds was near by. Sia and Karan both reached out to help Aman with the spill. The teacher encouraged Sia to go back to her work and Karan and Aman were happy to clear up together.
The stories from the classroom are endless. Today’s observation just showed my how beautifully the mixed age group works. How children even without being asked, reach out to a classmate – to pacify him, help him and guide him.
(Names of children have been changed)