The story of my four years old kg friend who refused to stay in class because of broken heart.
For sometime now, I have developed a new teaching philosophy. That is, I see Every Child As A Project to be completed.
My new teaching philosophy is really giving me a new perspective as to how children should be handled. You know how you act when you have a project to complete? Yeah! You give it a critical study, you look for alternative ways to get the job done, you stay on it and make sure you get results? That’s exactly what I mean.
Last term, I made a new friend. Her name is Etormam. She is 4 years old. She was admitted into a neighboring school. Her school and my school share the same compound. The road to her school passes through mine so I see her constantly on her way to school. Whenever she’s passing to school, I see joy written all over her face.
We vacated and resumed and resumed for second term and everything changed. It’s either the mom is after her or the sister is dragging her along.
I started noticing the strange behavior during second week. Sometimes I see her alone on the school’s park playing all by herself. Another time, I will see her following her sister to her class which is in my school.
I got interested. I asked the sister what was the problem but she only told me the girl refused to go to school. I tried to convince my new friend to go to her own school but she won’t agree. So, my next attempt, I have to carry her with force. She cried and struggled with me all the way to the classroom. Because of her, their teachers have to lock the classroom door.
I decided to find out why she’s avoiding the classroom from her teachers and what I heard shocked me.
They said “During first term, she made a friend (A Boyfriend) and they bacame so close. So close that they do everything and go everywhere together. They are emotional connected, physically combined and spiritually tight. They sit, eat, play and do practically everything together. Perhaps, they were meant to be together.
During the vacation, the parents of the “boyfriend” who are both government workers were transferred to another town so they have to relocate and took the boy along.
My extended enquiry to the house also revealed that, whenever she ( my new friend) comes back from school, instead of telling her parents what she learned at school (like other kids of her age do) she tells endless stories about the moment she shared together with the boy. She even confessed to her parents that she will marry the boy.
She really missed the boy during the two weeks vacation.When school resumed for second term, she knew it was time for reunion so she can’t wait to go to school to meet her long lost friend.
She went day1 without seeing him. Day two, she started asking after the boy. She was told the boy has left with his parents to another place and won’t be coming again.
She was broken hearted. After her first two days in the school this without any sight of the boy, which is a confirmation of the sad news she heard, she refused to enter the classroom again.
The teachers tried everything they could get her attention but to no avail. She prefers to be outside than be in the classroom without her best friend.
After listening to her story, anytime I see her loitering about the compound, I will carry her with with same force to her classroom. She’s that tiny to be bundled with even one hand.
Now, when she sees me coming towards her, she either starts running away or begin to cry. She knows one thing for sure, I will send her to that prison of classroom again.
I realized the approach is quick but wasn’t working so o need to re-strategize.
Subsequent days, I only get closer to her with a calm demeanor and have a friendly chat with her in order to win her trust back. I did this for about two consistent days.
After I succeeded with that, I appealed to her to go to her class with a promise to buy her biscuits. To my surprise, she immediately declined the biscuits and requested for drink instead.
There I know the battle has ended. It’s a win. After our agreement, she realized there was no going back . Besides, she likes the idea of the drink too.
She allowed me to carry her to the classroom. This time, no struggling and crying. She stayed in class till school was over. The following day, she did only half day because I didn’t show up to fulfill my promise.
A day after that, I visited her class, still without the drink as promised. She quickly reminded me and increased the number to two. Since I don’t want the drink to increase the following day, I followed up that afternoon to her house to fulfill my end of the bargain. Her parents were so pleased.
She’s gradually getting over emotional breakdown. She’s now able to concentrate better and Learning comfortably alongside her peers.
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✍️Hon Jerry Akporhor, Founder and Lead Educator @ Informed Teachers Network