Teachers need to have knowledge of child development in order to assist the learner to develop to their full individual potential. Having knowledge of his/her cognitive, language, social, emotional, physical and moral development. The teacher needs to have the knowledge to create a prepared environment that is suitably enriched with the appropriate activities for the learners. A knowledge to provide a balance in the daily activities is also needed.
According to Davin (2013), the teacher needs to understand and value the different aspects making the child. He/she needs to be able to choose media that’s is appropriate to enhance childhood development and enable learning. The teacher should understand how young children learn and recognise possible developmental delays and barriers. He/she should be able to plan for the learner’s individual needs and abilities for learners, which may also be from diverse backgrounds.
The other side of the coin is that the the teacher also needs to be aware of him/herself in terms of the children’s development. For example, the behaviours, actions and attitudes displayed at all times in the vicinity of the learners are possible impressions that the learners may follow or react on. Even when teachers are talking amongst each other, answering the phone, speaking to parents etc, they are modelling behaviours. Children at this age are impressionable and are learning not only from what the teacher teaches in the class, but all the other behaviour’s that are displayed (Bandura, 1997).
At Little People’s Montessori we have trained teachers. The principle of the school is Annie. She has 24 years experience as a teacher both in primary and pre-primary levels. She is a qualified Montessori teacher as well as a qualified Grade-R teacher. She has managed several pre-schools.
A common questions parents always ask the teachers relates to colouring books. At pre-school, we think colouring books is an extra fun activity but cannot be the sole activity children do during the day.
Are there any benefits in using colouring books?
- Colouring books in the reception year are used as a fun added activity that has some benefits in terms of fine muscle development, hand eye coordination, and artistic exploration. I advise parents to ascertain what activities the school has for their child as colouring books would be only an added extra as there are many other colouring worksheets given as part of their learning.
- I advise parents regarding colouring books as follows:
- Choose a colouring book that has fun realistic illustration.
- A book that is age appropriate, and does not present with tasks and pictures that are too advanced for the Grade-R learner.
- To choose a book with pictures that the child can relate to in their daily lives.
- To provide a variety of coloured pencils, crayons, and or other forms of colouring utensils.
- To encourage the child to explore with colour. I tell parents that colouring must be fun not forced, and to make sure the child has the correct pencil grip and that the learner is monitored.
Copyright Anne Baron. 2014
- Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy: The exercise of control. New York: W.H.Freeman
- Davin, R. (2013). Handbook for Grade-R teaching. Pearson. Cape Town. South Africa.