Preparing for the Spring Session
With just two weeks until the spring session begins, TYO’s Core Child Program (CCP) teachers are using the brief break between sessions to develop their skills through peer trainings, classroom preparation, and curricula development. Based on the monitoring and evaluation results from the fall session, the CCP teachers and Suhad, TYO’s Psychosocial Program Manager, have identified areas where the teachers need further training. For their work with 4 and 5-year-olds, teachers have asked to focus on developing their skills in storytelling, early childhood sports, and classroom management.
As the resident expert on early childhood sports, Haitham has taught the rest of the CCP team creative and effective ways to use sports with young children. To do so, he drew on his own long experience as a sports teacher with TYO as well as information he learned by participating in trainings with Right to Play. Jawad, who has had extensive training as a storyteller, will help his colleagues practice new storytelling techniques in a training later this week. Suhad will encourage teachers to think strategically about how to manage their classrooms effectively to promote their students’ learning and psychosocial well-being.
For their work with 6 to 8-year-olds, CCP teachers will focus on engaging their students more in the classroom decision-making process. Their objectives for each class will be the same as last session, but the teachers will make a concerted effort to approach children as partners in the project of learning. They will do so by asking the students about their hopes and goals for the class at the start of the session and taking their feedback about activities into account as they move through the semester.
The CCP teachers are also preparing their classrooms for the spring session. Several students are returning to the program, so teachers are putting some of their work on the walls. The team has also added four murals—each representing a different season—to the classroom walls. This aesthetic work is important, because it communicates to the children that the teachers have been thinking about them and planning for their return to TYO. Even classroom decorations are critical for the children to know that they are appreciated and valued as members of the TYO community.
Meanwhile, teachers are also conducting meetings with parents of their spring session students. At these meetings, the CCP teachers will introduce the parents to the goals of early childhood non-formal education and the activities that their children will be participating in. They will also collect information from the parents about their children’s psychosocial needs and behavior. Most importantly, parents will learn about TYO’s policy of encouraging parental engagement and find out how they can get in touch with the teachers to discuss their children’s progress and support their children’s development at home.
The center is quieter than usual during this break between programs, but the CCP team is as active as ever!