Surely being a kindergarten teacher is not as easy as we think it is? We got in touch with Innocentia Modiba, a teacher at ‘Little Feet Creche’, who was delighted to share some of her tips on how to handle little ones better.
It goes without saying that children need attention. According to Innocentia, one of her secrets to being a good kindergarten teacher is giving special attention to each child’s needs.
“I need to be attentive to each one’s traits so that I can spot any special needs that I need to focus on in each or some kids. Sometimes there’s a child with a learning disability or one with traits of ADD (attention deficit disorder). Being aware of this helps me treat the identified kids with the necessary attention so that they do not fall behind or miss out on any development experience.”
Innocentia warns against brushing off children’s behaviour as simply being naughty.
“Firstly, let me say, you need to be attentive to the kids so that you may know the conditions that they are going through. For instance, I need to be able to see when they are sleepy or hungry so that I can attend to that first instead of assuming that they are just being naughty and disruptive.“
She says this also helps her quiet them down.
“I found that you need to just be a little more patient with the little ones if you want anything to go your way. With the noise management, I make everyone a part of the mission to keep it down. It’s teamwork. So to get them to lower the noise and listen to the teacher, I lower my voice and whisper: ‘If you can hear me, touch your head. If you can hear me touch your nose.’ This makes them focus on what I’m saying and it’s like the noise disappears almost so magically.”
Lastly, when there are quarrels among them, Innocentia believes the best thing to do is to find out the root cause of the problem.
“It’s actually so funny how alike toddlers tend to be to adults. I have taught myself to listen to the story. There is always a story. So I sit with the quarrelers, (during the class session so that everyone can learn from the lesson) and each one gets about a minute to complain. Then we talk about it and hug it out. I find that it’s also good to get everyone to make up a rule to prevent that specific quarrel from happening again.”