Friday, October 25, 2013

Christina's Project Reflection

During my time here in La Paz I’ve been placed on the Ludoteca team with Aldeas Infantiles SOS. My work focuses on lesson planning, science research, and working with young children. I am based in a children's centre called San Jose Catalina, on the outskirts of La Paz, approximately 30 to 40 minutes away from where I live. There are 22 children enrolled at the centre, with the ages ranging from 9 months to 6 years old, and two educators looking after them. The centre is small, with only 2 rooms for the children, so it can seem quite crowded at times, but the educators make good use of the space.

In-country volunteer Favio, playing a game with children
 from the centre
My main activity in the children's centre is teaching and running activities for the children 3 days a week. I have taught a few lessons now, but my favourite so far was a Mathematics class with the oldest children based around the numbers 0 to 5. They repeated the numbers after me, traced the shapes of the numbers with their fingers, ran around to numbers I had taped onto the wall, and identified how many objects were in pictures I showed them. They seemed to enjoy these activities a great deal, and I felt I had made a lasting impression as they were repeating the numbers all day, and even pointing to things and calling out how many there were. I find the activities I plan and run very rewarding as I am helping the children to discover new things and teaching them new concepts that they will continue to build on after I have left.

Educator running an activity with children from the centre
Whilst working in the centre, I have encountered my fair share of issues, even in such a short space of time. The children do not enjoy eating their food, they don’t always pay attention to the educator, and they can be very violent. I was even stabbed in the face with a pencil by one of the girls, and bitten on the arm by another! However, these small incidents are nothing when I think about how good the children can be. They’re inquisitive and very curious, always asking questions and wanting to know why. They are affectionate to both the other children and I, constantly wanting hugs and comforting each other when they’re sad. And they’re incredibly helpful, fetching things for me, teaching the youngest children how to colour, and always pointing out when someone is hurt or sad.

The time I’ve spent working in the children's centre has solidified my ambition of becoming a teacher, and though I don’t want to teach young children, the experience I’ve had has been invaluable and incredibly rewarding. I’m looking forward to teaching more lessons and getting to know the personalities of the children even more over the next 4 weeks in my centre, and I think that in the end, I’ll be very sad to leave San Jose Catalina and the wonderful people I’ve met there.

Written by Christina Lawton

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful reflection darling, you are making a real difference! well done, but we all miss you and will be dying to see you in December!! XX