Every Tuesday morning, I teach a class at the local nursery school. I don’t really enjoy this class for a couple of reasons:
- It’s not my classroom
In my classroom at school, I have all sorts of sneaky ways of keeping the kids occupied if a lesson isn’t going to plan. When I work outside of the school, I have to make sure I bring back-up activities with me. This usually ends up with me turning up to the school looking like a bag lady.
- The kids are always super hyper
Seriously. I don’t know if the teachers intentionally wind them up before I get there but they come into the room like screaming whirligigs and head back to their classrooms an hour later in pretty much the same state, whereas I’m left trying to piece my sanity back together. It could be worse though; last year, my colleague who taught the class had 17 kids. At least this year, I’ve only got 7!
Teaching small kids is my least favourite aspect of my job. I have not been trained for it, so it’s basically been on-the-job training, learning as I go, which is pretty hit and miss. Today was definitely more of a miss. It all started with me rounding up the kids from their various classes and taking them into the English “classroom”, a.k.a the teacher’s coffee room. One of them is already crying because another boy had somehow managed to hit him over the head with a chair. These kids are 5 years old.
So, I sat them down and started going over the vocabulary flashcards we did last week and added some new ones. We’re working on farm animals at the moment. That went okay so we moved on to the craft. I had printed off some sheep worksheets (which you can find here) and the children had to trace the outline and colour the face. So far, so good. I had also brought along some PVA glue and cotton wool, which we stuck onto the sheep to make them nice and fluffy. It was all going swimmingly, apart from the fact that the little boy I mentioned earlier was constantly fighting with the girl sat next to him, who is not the nicest of kids (Wait. Should I say that?). Anyway, I’m trying to stop them from killing each other while the rest finish their craft.
This is when it starts to go downhill. This little boy is obsessed with being first in everything – getting the handout first, finishing first, taking the first go when we play a game. Everything. Towards the end of the lesson, I decided to play a game of memory using some smaller flashcards I had created from colouring pages I found here. I know it’s a game they enjoy but today I think it was a mistake. The boy started pouting because I wouldn’t let him go first. Then, when it was his turn, he didn’t get a pair and started getting angry. The little girl next to him decided to turn all of the cards over until she got a pair. Then the boy threw a tantrum because he didn’t win. Have you ever tried to reason with a 5-year-old? Well, don’t. It’s impossible. To top it all off, I had a nosebleed in the middle of the lesson. Honestly. And people wonder why I don’t want kids! Give me adult learners any day.