Coming back to school after Christmas and New Year, I feel as lethargic and tired as I did when I was a student. The kids have been running riot, certainly not helped by the fact that their parents kindly fuel them with sugar for their breakfast, so it’s like having a class full of hyperactive monkeys flying around my ankles, literally jumping on my back and tugging on my skirt.
It’s been a wild few weeks, with “Children’s Day” where the children get to eat so many sweets and just dance all day, amongst other events that has filled them with excitement and cheer.
So after resuming normal lessons again this week, it was a challenge to regain control of the class, and to keep their attention. It was time to step up my lesson planning game.
It’s easy as a teacher to deliver lessons, in which I just regurgitate junk, which is not interesting to a 5-year-old child, however you feel like you’re doing the right thing in the name of education. Maybe my TTT (Teacher Talking Time) needed to be reduced.
Therefore, I felt with their lack of interest and attention lately, I had to remember that I am teaching Kindergarten, and fun is the name of the game if I’m going to keep them interested and engage them more than I have been.
They don’t seem to get much story time; next to none from the Thai teachers and I am left with a very small selection of books printed in the English language. They’ve heard them all already and don’t seem to be inspired by hearing these dull stories about Terry the Turtle or Floppy the Rabbit for the millionth time.
So after a bit of using old trusty Google, I found some cut outs for paper puppets to go alongside the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears.
I coloured these in, and stuck them to old Popsicle sticks once they’d been cut out.
First I used YouTube to play the fairy tale, alongside an animation. After this, to ensure they’d understood, I used the paper puppets I had made to retell the story, using stupid voices, and adding extra twists to the tale.
After this I handed out the paper cut outs to the children, asking them to colour them in and glue them to the Popsicle sticks themselves.
This was a huge success, and the children loved it. Once they’d finished and had a full set of puppets each, I could see them acting out the story themselves too: quoting lines of “Who’s been sleeping in MY bed?” with their own puppets.
So the lesson I’ve taken away from the past couple of hectic weeks, is not to forget that a good teacher is not one that just stands and talks; but one that intrigues and captivates. I must remember to get them to be as hands on as possible in order to ignite their lust for learning as much as possible.
Next week, the topic is “Eggs”. Having just finished my week’s lesson planning, there will certainly be a lot of hands on learning and experiments.