With the first lockdown/curfew in March of this year I didn’t jump on the bandwagon of the zoom platform. Working with children of under 6 and expecting them to follow is not part of their agenda ; it’s part of the adult thinking.
On programs I conducted privately, I saw adults stressing the children to perform. Immediately I called a meeting of parents, teachers and other adults and took them through the paces of online management of these sessions. Many parents had engaged teachers privately to sit in on these sessions which was actually a good decision. Every parent is not blessed with unlimited patience what with household duties, work from home schedules and some losing employment or facing pay cuts.
Educators are trained to be patient. Patient enough to understand the psychology of young children. If this pandemic has taught us anything, it is to SLOWDOWN. Frenzied is the word which comes to mind. Frenzied parents, frenzied teachers and frenzied grandparents. The children were stressed. Some reacted violently. Some were animated. Some took it in their stride. Some shut down. Some yawned. The focus was killing their spirit. There’s no point in having an animated educator when the adult in charge at home has no control over the situation.
My changeover was quick. I asked the children to walk outside and tell me the names of birds they see, listen to the sounds in their environment and made pancakes online. It worked like magic. I then got them to draw the activities of the session. Unfortunately, the adults wanted to direct the colouring. I have no control over these situations but later on the adults began to listen and the children settled in. It was a transformation. Most of these children will be shifting to Primary next year and their focus is back on track.