Sunday, October 13, 2013

Look How Far We've Come!

In an effort to collect my thoughts and attempt to get back into the habit of blogging, I was reflecting back to this post, exactly one year ago today. I am amazed at how much has changed, how the kids have grown, the abundant provision of resources we have to work with (thanks to the incredibly generous people in my life), and how the teachers have embraced it all and made it their own. 

The 2013-2014 school year started October 1st, on wonderfully peaceful note. Despite the absence of many children on the roster (who all showed up the 2nd week of school, which seems to be quite common in Haiti), it was a busy, yet oddly stress-free occasion. 

First Day - Modeling the new uniforms in front of the their house
I am continually learning the art of delegating and empowering, rather than trying to do it all myself, which is an incredibly freeing feeling. I gathered equal display materials for each classroom and handed the entire pile to the Haitian teachers with a few suggestions and let them put things wherever they saw fit. I'm so proud of the adorable, engaging learning environments they created...and they even went home the weekend before school started and created more of their own posters! 
My class (2-3 yr olds) - The "Barefoot Bears

The Pre-K (4 year old) class - Yet to be named

Kindergarten - The Sunshine Class
I am incredible honored and blessed to be able to provide professional development support and teacher resources to additional Haitian preschools in both Jacmel and Petionville. Fanel Leme, who works at the Hands and Feet Project, has seen his vision of starting preschool in a very poor community near Jacmel come alive this school year. All my little munchkins from the toddler house that I worked with in 2011 will be attending his school. I'm so proud of the hard work he has put into it, and excited to partner with him to help educate the next generation in Haiti. You can read more about Eagle Kindergarten in Jacmel here

Here are a few of my favorite moments from the first 2 weeks of school:

Djenica said she was building a church
Praise the Lord for Kindermats!

Painting "red" with crazy brushes

Crawling through the tunnel on the playground
Swinging with buddies on the new swing set

Everything is a telephone in dramatic play, even a banana!

The new Pre-K teacher, Margareth, showing them the right way to hold a hockey stick :)
Making circles and "O's" with our big curves and little curves from Handwriting Without Tears