We did get-acquainted activities with the preschool children. We asked, “Are you uncomfortable greeting new people?” Many heads nodded yes. We explained that greetings are cultural. There’s no “right” way to greet, so follow others, show the way or make it up! After that we sang together.
When visiting we also met parents. They used to feel afraid when they met foreigners. Now they feel very happy and are courageous to speak. They expressed their gratitude that we visited and paid attention to their children.
Nadine discussed and shared experiences with eight teachers over two hours. Rilli, a first year teacher at Miftahul Huda, said that Nadine gave a lot of knowledge including methods in assisting children. The thing she remembered and began to practice was that children could not be immediately introduced to letters or numbers, but they needed to learn to recognize shapes and colors. Activities for play must be given sufficient space and time, and you could not suddenly stop the child while playing or you interrupted the development of their thinking. Give them a moment to complete their thought or activity.
Mar’ah, a teacher of five years at Miftahul Huda, said that from the meeting she learned about the stages of child development, including the stages of writing. She hopes there will be a special time to learn more when Nadine comes next year. While Puji said that she got a lot of knowledge, including about the children’s world of play. So we should not be confused if our children do not want to learn, but what adults should do is provide toys, materials and playgrounds that are sufficient for children’s needs. The toys do not have to be much, but what is important is how to give the child the chance to play with enough materials and time to develop their thinking, then she showed how children learn to write. Actually, at the stage of making a journal the child will make graffiti and in time a circle will appear, then lines and dots. When Introducing letters starting by using circles and lines. From the meeting, the teachers increasingly understood that teaching children to write does not have to be forced to directly introduce letters or numbers but through the process of playing and making scribbles. By drawing, children one day find their own way of learning. When children encounter problems, they can easily solve them with good attention and encouragement.