Saturday, September 4, 2010

Shouting well

Some of you know that this September is quite an experience for me because of great changes in the life of my daughters. Alma (6 and 1/2) just started school and Kamó (5) was left without her sister and quite a few good friends at kindergarten, where she advanced to the colour yellow. At this kindergarten, Gyöngyharmat, in Dunakeszi, they are organised in different colour groups depending on their age, to be more precise, the date of their birth. This is quite important for Kamó as she has missed the last colour she could have received in the kindergarten, red, by eight days. Can you imagine how important this is for her and for us?

Anyway, I need to get back on track. The other great loss for Kamó was one of her nursery teachers, who moved to another town. So they got a new teacher.

We got home after the most exciting day in September, the BIG start in their new life, and of course, Alma had endless stories to tell about her teachers and happenings at school. Kamó was listening patiently, as she usually does. Then I asked her about what the first day was like.

"And what's is your new nursery teacher like, Kamó?"

"She is sooooo lovely, mum. She is really VERY nice."

"Oh, that's great!" I said with relief and then I asked: "And what makes her 'VERY nice' for you?"

"Because she can shout so well.", came the immediate response, to which I was ...shocked. And I was left speechless for a few moments. Seeing this it became obvious for her that I needed some further explanation.

"You know, mum, she only shouts at bad kids, you know when they are doing something really naughty."

"Right, I see, but I still don't really understand what you mean by 'shouting well'. How can a teacher 'shout well'?" I was really puzzled.

"Just like YOU do, mum. You know, during the English playschool we do with you, for example. " Now this was THE shock. It really felt terrible. Me, a shouting teacher. Now that sounds just great.

"Right, I see, and what do I do exactly when I shout well?"

"You know that well, mum. Why do I have to tell you?"

"Well, you might think I know that, but in all fairness, I don't. I have learnt a lot from you in our English playschool, and you teach me a lesson almost every day. So I really would be happy if you gave me some examples of when I shout well." I tried to ask as calmly as possible, but I was still disturbed.

"I see, mum. Well, you know, you shout well, when we misbehave. When, for example, you ask us to do something three times, and we don't listen to you. We ARE bad then, so you shout well."

I started to feel a little better by this point, but I still needed some reassurance.

"So is that a good thing for you, Kamó?"

"It certainly is, because then we ARE bad."

Of course, I told my husband and a lot of people around me about this great feedback I received , and I realised how much truth there is in what Kamó said about shouting.

But, now I know that I can shout well :-). Hurray!!!!!


  1. I just look at her picture and it warms my heart. I can't describe, what I can see on her face, but it makes me feel good. :) I hope I can shout well, too. :)

  2. That anonymous was me, I just try to keep up with you without registering to many sites and spy-portals. :) Eva Federi

  3. Hi Éva!

    I believe you can shout well too. :-)

    And going back to Kamó, I learn lessons from her every day.

    My only fear is that her freedom of thinking, her natural ability to think in a critical way, to give very diplomatic and constructive feedback will be all anaesthetised gradullay as soon as she starts going to school. To get a better idea of what I mean, listen to Sir Ken Robinson's animated talk in my last post (Changing Education Paradigms.

    I'm very happy that it's not just me going on about this constantly, but as I said in one of my training sessions in August, it may take generations of educators for the transformation to really take place. We have to start somewhere, though, right?

    Thanks for unrevealing your anonymity :-)



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