It takes two to start a fight....a statement nobody can deny.
How do we deal with this phenomena in a preschool.......
On my routine visit to SmarTop Pre School in Tangkak last week, I observed instances among the kids which triggered some serious thinking on how should we go about instilling values on love and tolerance not only among the kids but among our teachers and staff as well. It is a daunting task for me to comprehend the whole issue because I was never trained in the field of child development and have little experience in dealing with little children in a group.
It was almost like a coincidence as we had a special guest that day who could help us. She is Puan Rafidah Mahayuddin from USM, (standing in the middle). She had some formal training in Australia and elsewhere in early childhood education and we invited her to be with us for a day or so on her personal capacity to recommend to us on how to improve the running of our preschool. She handed me three booklets for reference but insisted that we should read through as it is a good guide for effective management. I was excited after flipping through the booklets and I promised her I would read and digest it and perhaps then I would be able to share the contents with our teachers and hence improve their knowledge and skill in the field.
The booklets are:
- Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Programs serving Children from Birth to Age 8.
- Conflict Resolution with Young Children.
- Communication: Exploring Alternatives and Expressing Your Ideas and Feelings to Children.
Puan Rafidah is seen here discussing issues with our teachers. Besides her is Puan Norlida, our designated Principal of our Preschool. She is a trained teacher and has a Diploma in Education. She is now free-lancing and is helping us with career development of the teachers. She has attended a required course by the Department together with the Prime Minister's Department responsible for implementing The Permata Project Nation wide.
May our teachers soon become "expert" in managing the whims and fancies of our infants and toddlers and those age 4 to 6 years. We are told that conflict is a normal, healthy part of young children learning to socialise. To develop socially, children need to learn many skills. This is a gradual process. They need the ability to respect the rights of others, the ability to control expressions of anger, the ability to behave in a socially acceptable manner and many more.
Help us through, Oh Rabb....and grant us the wisdom to and strength to persevere in this endeavor.