At our Saturday AWANA program we have a class called the Benjamin Class for the three to six year old kids. Many of these kids cannot write or recognize numbers or letters. Even some of the six year old kids cannot write their names. Because of this, my job is to teach the children how to write and recognize numbers and letters at the beginning of their class! I cannot express how much fun it is! We are starting with numbers one through ten, adding a new number each week, and will then start on letters when the numbers are finished. I come up with worksheets that have dotted numbers for the children to trace as well as small pictures of an animal or something else repeated to match the number for the week. I begin talking about the number and ask the children what the number is on the page then I go through and help any of the kids that are having a hard time forming the number. Once the children finish tracing and writing the number, they get to color the pictures on the page.
Here is one of my favorite moments since teaching the kids: this one little boy who is probably four always comes in and stands in the back with no facial expression. I always try to talk to him or get him to participate, but he never wants to. The first day I started doing the numbers, I finally got him to sit down and I gave him a pencil and a worksheet and told him to trace the number isa (one in Visayan) and sulat (write) it in the blank boxes. After handing out the rest of the worksheets to the other children, I walked over to him and he had filled the whole sheet out and was just staring at me. I told him good job and held my hand out for a high five. This is the first time I have ever seen him smile. It was such an encouraging moment.
I really enjoy teaching these kids and look forward to them learning more and more. This is just a taste of what I want to do in my future preschool. I am excited to see what God has planned and when I will be able to open up the preschool…praying for starting this next school year which here in the Philippines starts the end of June but we will see.