Help for a South African Preschool Teacher

I got a recent plea for help from Moray in South Africa.

Can you help?

I am a South African Pre-school teacher with 47 children in my class, ranching in age from 2 years to 6 years. Most of the children are isiZulu speaking, so it is an enormous challenge on its own. However, last week the head appointed me to devise an “Orientation Programme” for the first few weeks of school for Grade 1. She wants both fine and gross motor skills to be included. Our end of year finishes in 4 weeks' time, which gives me very little time. With my current workload, Christmas concert, Carol service, Speech Day for the entire foundation phase (Grades R – 3), testing of new and remedial children for the Foundation phase and 47 very comprehensive reports, I can't see the trees for the wood. (I am the sole teacher for the Pre-primary and I have already had to devise the entrance tests for the foundation phase and compile the new report formats for the new revised South African curriculum), which was time consuming but I was given sufficient time in which to complete the tasks. Right now I am at panic stations, as I have to have completed this by the end of November when our schools close.
If there is any advice, worksheets, practical tips etc, that you could give me or site to which you could direct me, I shall be extremely grateful. I do not teach grade1, so I have no material whatsoever. Our Grade 1 teachers are newly qualified with no experience and have had problems this year which is why I have been assigned this task. My main problem is that I do not have the necessary time to give this project justice. Our school year begins mid January, which I know is different from your school year but perhaps there is something that you could suggest that I could work on and adapt?

I e-mailed her for permission to ask you. Can you help? Are there some good online resources and bloggers for Pre K?

I honestly don't know. (And besides this, we've got to all do a better job with linking to the continent of Africa… all of us. If she's asking for help, let's help her for goodness sakes.)

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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Karyn Romeis November 2, 2007 - 9:06 am

I think you have my email address, Vicki. Get her to email me direct – I can put her in touch with experienced early years teachers in South Africa, one of whom is now the head of the National Institute of Learning Disabilities. I’m sure she will be able source loads of excellent stuff.

Alex Case November 4, 2007 - 10:05 pm

This post is off the page on the left hand side for me. Could be my computer of course…

Mrs. Green November 6, 2007 - 5:06 pm

wow. very moving. just off the top of my head, is a fantastic resource. last year with my first graders i used for their blogs, tho i’m not sure i am going to use them this year (i really want to set up a ning network). she can email me too, if she would like…

Internet4classrooms November 13, 2007 - 7:50 pm

There is a site just for pre-k resources.

There is also a page of kindergarten resources


Raenette Taljaard April 4, 2008 - 7:44 am is great, but we need to remember that currently the electricity supply in South Africa is very erratic, so downloadable resources would probably be handier than online activities.

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