Durban: Week 3 in the Creches

  IMG_0563This week we have all taught the first of our CIMCI (Community Integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses) lessons on behaviour to each ECD centre. The lesson outlined what good behaviour is, and the importance of behaving well. We have also began to implement the behaviour strategy that encourages the use of a ‘Time Out’ space to replace disciplinary techniques such as hitting or shouting at children, and medals to reward children for good behaviour.IMG_7144

We have also all started the City Celebration project. This involves going into schools in deprived areas and helping to teach dance lessons. We have all really enjoyed working with children of a different age, and having the opportunity to take a break from the intense work at the ECD centres.

In Wondercare, AW and S have been focusing on the safety of the building. This has involved emailing electricians in Durban to try and find someone to volunteer to come and cover the open plug sockets, and visiting a local carpenter to try and close the toilets off to the public. Because Zamo (the Principle) has difficulty writing, AW and S have started the process of making teaching aids for the classrooms. An area of weakness identified in the ECD report of the previous team was student records and parent communication. Therefore, a registration form and parent information booklet has been typed up to address these issues, and will be taken into Wondercare next week. Furthermore, AW and S plan to use blackboard paint to create a noticeboard at the entrance to the crèche so parents can easily see any urgent notices.IMG_7081

We have also seen a real change of heart of the teachers this week in Praise . There have been significantly less incidents of children being hit, and lessons and activities lead by teachers have been very productive. Despite the initial resistance to the behaviour strategy, we have seen members of staff adopt it using the ‘Time Out’ space and reward system. Furthermore, staff have encouraged children to wash their hands before eating with running water and soap without prompts from ICS volunteers. However, it has become evident that children do not know how to wash their hands, so we plan to teach a CIMCI lesson on this next week.IMG_7146

In Noah, SF and A have continued to write their ECD report and implementing the behaviour strategy. S has started washing the walls in preparation to paint there. On Tuesday, we spent the whole day in the ECD centres, and SF and A were left alone with a toddler class because one of the teachers was not there this week, which they found challenging.IMG_0617

ES and N have also washed down the walls in Carmenellos in preparation to paint next week. N taught the 3-4 year olds shapes and numbers, and ES has been assisting the children as they write. It is great to see that the children are washing their hands using the tippy taps, despite this being very time consuming! Jess has been into Carmenellos this week to go through a grade R curriculum with the teachers so there is a clear record of what children should know. ES and N have also finalised a daily schedule that they plan to write up. ES has drawn up an alphabet to go on the walls which the children coloured in, that she has laminated and will take in next week.IMG_0579

In Disneyland Day Care Centre ES, N and I held a meeting with the owner to discuss the behaviour strategy, a detailed daily schedule, and grade R curriculum. They also held lessons for 3-4 year olds to teach basic things such as up and down, and bigger and smaller. Due to staffing, it has been a very challenging week. However, it has been very reassuring to see that a social worker has been paired with the ECD centre.

 I have been in a mixture of the ECD Centres this week, teaching the behaviour lesson and a phonics lesson as well as wiping down wall, facilitating song and games and having meeting with the owners to find out the next steps. In the afternoons, I have been sorting out policies, creating a visual timetable, communicating with companies, churches and charities, creating number posters and working out a filing system for each creche. IMG_0602

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