01 September 2012

Opening Day Tomorrow!

Tomorrow is the big day! The day we’ve been planning and preparing for for ages! Well, it feels like ages. But it’s actually only a month. And frankly only one month of planning and preparation sounds much scarier to me than having ages of time… but no worries… we pulled it off. We did it!! I am ready.

Most of the effort went into the classroom and the garden. Today I’ll give you a lil’ tour of the classroom. I am rather pleased to announce the almost everything you see was purchased in this country! Since I didn’t know until this summer that I was going to start a preschool, I obviously didn’t have a chance to bring things with us in our luggage (as if there was any space anyway!). A couple friends carried a few small items over and some things were donated, but most everything you see is from here. Which was a challenge, but I think it’s great and it takes the pressure off to import things in the future. I love that I am forced to ‘make it work’ with what is available locally.

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This is the largest side of the room. All the playing stations are on this side. Don’t you love all the windows?

And bunting. It wouldn’t be my preschool if it didn’t have bunting, right? Ha! I’m so predictable…

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This is the book and music corner.

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Cozy, eh? My lil’ bookworm kids were pretty excited about this.

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And here is the wee kitchen and dress up area.

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The kitchen is actually a locally made tea lady set. (Ladies sit in the street with their little stands and their charcoal fires and sell tea). This one had ‘kid kitchen’ written all over it so I snatched it up. I mean to paint some stove burners on there and maybe ‘install’ a metal bowl for a sink. Someday soon. Someday.

Also, might I mention that locally purchased is not always great. The little dishes were purchased locally. They were made in China, no doubt, and they have stickers of Barbie all over them. Gag me! And two of them already broke! Woops! But you take what you can get when you open a school in a month in Africa, right? Right.

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Doctor? Vet? Cowboy? Princess? Anyone have career dreams? We’ve got your gear. (This was not found locally or sewn locally, for the record). An American friend who imported them passed them down to me! :)

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Toys…

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…toys and more toys!

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Here is our happy circle time rug. I did a lot of laminating of kids songs and teaching tools for Circle Time and that makes me feel happy inside.

One of my best ideas, ifIdosaysomyself, is this thin tack-strip that I (and a friend!) cut and installed along the entire perimeter of the room. I can hang posters, labels, signs, etc with just a thumbtack and not mess with the cement walls (which are a NIGHTMARE!) every time I want something hung up on the wall at preschooler-height. And it gives me tons of flexibility in the room, too, which is great. I am loving it already. Big time.

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And when it’s not circle time the space can be used for building with blocks.

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And this is the other section of the classroom. This side is more for crafts and activities. Finding those kid table and chairs in this city was about a week’s worth of work alone. The kids better appreciate them! Ha!

Well, that’s it. What do you think? I am more than pleased with it and it feels so cheery and bright. I think it’s a space I can easily spend a lot of time in, which is good… since I’m not only director of the preschool, but the teacher too… at least for now! Lord help me… I have no idea what I’m doing.

Here goes nothin’!

8 comments:

  1. Wonderfu!!! Awesome!! I am SO very proud of you. What a great learning space for the little ones. I am planning to use your thumbtack strip idea with the cement walls in Nepal. Brilliant! What did you use for the cork (or is it some other material?) LOVE to you.

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  2. I love it! Looks so bright and fun!

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  3. Wow! It looks great! congratulations. How many students will you have?

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  4. Thank you friends! I have four students this week... I don't mind starting small. And the tack strip is just wood! A lighter, not super dense variety, if that helps, Katrina! :)

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  5. Hi, I am Anissa (Straziuso, from Trinity Intern. Univ.) Murphy's mom and I have followed your blog, from her blog, for a while now. I am so impressed with your preschool. Your space, your decorating, your stations, just all of it is super nice. My son and family live in Nairobi and right before they recently traveled to the US I had them read your "Traveling with a baby/toddler" posts as their daughter is 15 months. It must have been helpful as they posted on FB she only cried about 12 minutes of their 14 hrs. in the air. Anyway, Congratulations on your pre-school.

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  6. Hey Suzy! Everything looks so great. It must have been that living with various teachers in college, lots of teacher friends and a teacher sister has rubbed off on you! Just kidding cuz YOU always were the decorating and crafting queen and obviously a great teacher to your own kids. Honestly if you need any materials or ideas feel free to email me. I would truly love to help if you want it. I never want to give unwanted advice and don't know how in depth you are wanting to go with your preschool lessons, but if you don't already have year goals and lessons mapped out and you need anything like that shoot me a message! Love you girl and sending pyers your way! Becca H. from ohio

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  7. Amazing! Wonderful!....and room to grow!
    Praying,
    Barbara

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  8. Very well prepared. If I move to your city, can I come be in your school. Cool toys!
    Blessings thru you.
    Ken D.

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