Esther took me into her classroom before the start of my workshop today. She beamed.
On the wall were three posters she had made – one created with her class’s input on what makes a great classroom. Esther wanted me to know she had taken ideas from my previous workshop on classroom management and begun to incorporate them. These posters served as examples of her efforts.
Meeting Education Needs of All Students
This has been my experience so far with the Dikwankewetla ECD Forum in Finetown (Early Childhood Development). They are incredibly eager to learn and grow as educators! I facilitated my second workshop with them today. They asked for assistance with how to meet the needs of children with special needs.
Honestly, I was stunned they desired assistance with this topic. Many children, too many children, with special needs in informal settlements like Finetown do not attend school. They are chased away. Why? Because the school staff either doesn’t feel equipped to serve them or the teachers fear them.
When I asked if the teachers and principals had any experience with special needs children, every single participant said they were too scared to try. They didn’t know what to do.
But somewhere down deep, they decided they wanted to try now. But they needed help. So, they asked me.
After the workshop, Sylvia raised her hand and said she knew of a child near her school that had a special need. She didn’t know what his difficulties were, but Sylvia decided that she wanted to go to his mother and ask if he could start coming to her school. Nthabiseng concurred. She said she knew of three children near her school who had special needs.
Sylvia said: “I was scared to have children with special needs in my school. I know where some children live who have special needs. They don’t go to school. I’m going to invite them to come to my school. I have more information to help me now and I don’t feel scared anymore.”
Pray with One Challenge
- Pray for this group of educators as they influence, inspire, and care for young children – regardless of need – in South Africa.
- Pray for Heather as she continues to train educators to meet the needs of all children.
*One Challenge is excited to have Heather as a guest writer this month. Heather, her husband John, and their three boys served in South Africa. Heather is mom, writer, and educator. Among other ministries, she works with women in South Africa who run preschools in low-income “townships.” She also serves on One Challenge’s Global Care Team.