Teaching little kids was often one of those things that I would have turned my nose up at. I recall some friends of mine whilst we were training as teachers agreeing that heading for the early years meant too many runny noses and smelly bottoms for our liking. And I whisper it now with shame but also that there wasn’t any ‘real’ teaching in this years.

Well I’ve now been teaching early years for 17 weeks of teaching and I have to say that some of my previous worries were true. The children are snotty, dirty and sometimes smelly but actually none of that bothers me. I’m fairly surprised how much I’ve enjoyed it and I’m shocked at the progress my class have made. I was saying to Sophie the other day I don’t understand how we’ve done it but these kids are chatting away in English, writing, reading and some of mine are even subtracting! One of my previous colleagues; Nikki loved moving from year 3 to a split 1/2 class and said it was incredible the noticeable progress they make when they are younger and I couldn’t agree with her more.

I know we’re here to teach them but they also teach me so much too. They’re capable of learning at an incredibly fast rate and we’re expecting them to use and apply this new knowledge daily, but they rise to it. Sophie says that my high expectations of the kids (being used to 10 year old work) is one of the reasons for this progress and it’s also one of the reasons why when we do return to teach in England once more I will search for an early years posting. To understand where they have come from and their innate learning capacities will increase my progress as a teacher further.

Finally I would say even though you look at one of the kids books and see that they couldn’t hold the pencil in January and they are now writing the, she and he independently I could not say that his progress is greater than that of the progress of Sophie and I have made as teachers and as people. I have mentioned it before that one of the best messages we had before our excursion to Zimbabwe was about learning more than teaching and this gets more real with every day I work in this country!

On an aside note to this blog we are yet to receive our VISA’s which expire on June 22nd and we need these to stay in the country. After all the hard work we’ve done I really don’t want to stop now so if you are praying type the please ask God for a swift decision with these papers!

Thanks and lots of love Greg (and Sophie!) x

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