Kindergarten, Here We Come!

Maybe you’ve heard this little song (sung to the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star):

Kindergarten here we come
We know we’ll have lots of fun
Lots of things to make and do
Reading Writing Counting too
Kindergarten here we come
We know we’ll have lots of fun

It doesn’t matter what country you’re in, kindergarten is a happy place. When I walked into the kindergarten room at the Madaoua school, the first thing that drew my eye was the ceiling. Here were suspended an abundance of colorful paper chains and decorations, making the whole room seem pretty and inviting and as if there was something here to celebrate.

The kindergartners were gathered on the floor on large mats, exactly how kindergartners you may know gather on the rug in front of their teachers for stories, games and lessons. There were smiles and some wide eyes as we strangers came into their room, but our good friend Ibrahim soon had them all laughing as Kara took their class picture. (Kara likes to get the children to smile by asking, “Where are your teeth?” Ibrahim goes for the giggles by asking silly questions like, “What are you having for lunch, hyena or zebra?”)

I took a picture of part of the blackboard, where the teachers always post their daily lesson plans. It wasn’t until later that I went back and actually read her goals and objectives for the day. I have taught high school for over twenty years, so for me there was something truly charming about the outline she had written:

Morals: Review of sharing

  • I must share with my group

Motor Skills: Review

  • General theme: quadrupeds
  • Theme of the day: walking on all fours
  • Bathroom Break*
  • Snack
  • Recess
  • Hand washing
  • Language: Recipe (Review)
    • General theme: porridge
    • Theme of the day: millet porridge with milk
  • Clean up
  • Dismissal

*(Although she didn’t write it on the board, the bathroom break does include hand washing!)

Doesn’t that sound like a pretty wonderful day? It feels good to be a part of something that is building people up, and these little kindergartners were happy, at ease, and proud of how much they were learning. I hope that everyone who supports Remember Niger can understand the great work that you are making possible!