Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Back to work, yippee!

Sometimes when I have days off, I can't remember what I'm supposed to be doing. Office work? Playing with stories? Planning new programs? Honing my art? Yes, yes, yes and yes, but sometimes I just flap around, then give up and have a nap. That was yesterday. That and the quest for clean clothes. Also, yesterday I discovered that in Brazil, women do not have size 11 feet (42, if you're using European sizes). If I want to go home with Brazilian shoes, they'll have to be men's shoes. Sigh.

Enough of that. Today I got back to work, telling stories at the Sidarta School

I performed right next to the library in a wonderful room full of puppets, a puppet stage, dress-up clothes, hats, mirrors and these amazing trees. They're stretchy fabric! 

Notice the automobile tires as seats. They're clean and stuffed with pillows. 

As I have in all the performances in Brazil, I began by showing the map of the US so they can see where I'm from. I also show them where my mother and my brothers and sisters live. It takes a few minutes, as I'm the youngest of seven.

Though the children were far from native speakers, they were great listeners. In this next picture, I'm telling "Mr. Wiggle and Mr. Waggle," a very simple story but one that uses pairs of words: in/out, up/down, open/shut. 

The two older classes had prepared questions to ask. Then a few of them even dared ask a few more. They did splendidly! 

This school is part of the Sidarta Institute. Across the road is a Buddhist temple. Quoting from a brochure from the Institute: "We truly believe that the path to a better world begins with the access to quality education for all." Amen. 

In talking with Carmen, who hosted the performances (and who was tremendously welcoming, as were Robson and the other staff members), I learned that the teaching at the school is inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education, an approach that I've loved since hearing about it in the late '90s. I mentioned it in a post about Gianni Rodari last year. What I've noticed in RE schools, Sidarta included, is a delightful atmosphere, with a pervasive kindness. Aaah.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

These schools both look and sound fantastic! MI