Shall I take you to the gate so those policemen can take you?
Do you want Satan to come for you in the night? For those talking, Satan will come for you in the night and throw you in the fire.
When you are in class you don’t talk. When you keep talking you will become like a turkey with a long nose. Do you want a long nose?
These threats were part of a local nursery teacher’s toolkit for behaviour management. I scribbled them down as I was observing her reading lesson to five-year-olds this morning. The longer I am here working in education in Uganda, the more I am learning about education and particularly how I cannot isolate the teaching of reading from the teaching of the whole child.
Above was part of my written feedback for the teacher. Although I have tried to stick to a very tight line of only supporting the teaching of reading and writing in the classroom, this is impossible! Good teaching and learning often comes from a good learning environment and we need to support (within reason) the wider learning environment. As part of a way forward, we are planning on identifying six local nursery schools which we want to attempt to raise up as model nursery schools – example schools to those around them. Not only will we be supporting their reading and writing teaching, but also three other key areas: group work with activities, positive behaviour management and reading stories aloud to children.
The school I was at this morning will be one of those schools. I was extremely encouraged when the head of infants (nursery and lower primary) commented how they had picked up some ideas from our student teachers, particularly how to read stories aloud to children and had now started including that in their timetable.
I’m quite excited with the next chapter of working with these six key schools… hopefully Satan or the Police will disappear from their behaviour management toolkit in the coming months, oh and the turkey too.