I am Marie, the other French volunteer in Pułtusk this year. You don’t know me very much because it is the first time I am writing about my project, but you probably have already heard about me in some other events, like language cafés or cooking sessions!
I am mainly working in a kindergarten, Przedszkole Miejskie nr 4, with kids from 3 to 6 years old. The children with whom I spend most of my time are the oldest ones but I have of course many occasions to be with the others!
My main task – the reason of me being there – is to be with the children. It can take several forms: helping them doing exercises, eating together with them, listening to them – even if at the beginning I could not understand a single word – playing with them, making drawings for them... Then they try to draw the same, it is like a drawing lesson without me teaching anything formally… Just them observing and doing! 🎨 And of course, I help the teacher for more practical things (serving the meals, taking care of the material, looking after the kids etc.).
As you might have understood, my active presence is a central component of my project but of course, it is better if I can bring concrete things as well: for instance, presenting differences and similarities between our cultures or making some animations linked with the topics the children see in the kindergarten.
That’s how I did – of course – a presentation about France and the place where I come from, to give the kids a better idea of where I grew up, and I did one, more recently, about dinosaurs.
I prepared a PowerPoint with pictures to explain why they are called dinosaurs (= terrible lizards), when and in which environment they used to live, how big they could be, the reasons why scientists think they disappeared, how we discovered them (thanks to fossils) and I gave some examples of dinosaurs – typical ones: diplodocus, tyrannosaur, triceratops, pterodactyl, brachiosaur and stegosaur. To make it interactive, I asked them questions about the pictures they could see and I did a little test at the end, to see if they remembered the names of the dinosaurs. 😊 Some of them were already well informed!
But I can already see your question coming: my Polish is quite limited so HOW did I manage to explain all that to the kids???
The answer is quite simple: I wrote a small text with easy sentences in English and a Polish friend (maybe you already know Iga!) helped me to translate it into Polish. Then I trained with the pronunciation and I did the presentation with the text in my hand… and that’s it!
I really had fun preparing and performing this presentation, and what made me happy is that the kids enjoyed it and were involved in it. After that, I had prepared some colourings for them. And the day after, the kids of my class painted dinosaurs cut in paper rolls:
It was a very nice animation and I would like to continue preparing such ones in the future!
Having contact with the children, learning from each other and having fun together are the things that matter to me.
I learn so much with them. Firstly, of course, the language: Polish. If I want to communicate with them, I have to be active quite quickly in the language. With the time, I notice that I can make more and more sentences and understand more things. And I am in total immersion the whole day so I am used to hear the music of the Polish language…
Then – and it is quite important – I am learning a lot about human relations. Indeed, due to the barrier of the language that makes it essential to develop such abilities, I noticed some time ago that contact with people, at least with children, seemed easier to me. It is a very precious knowledge! I hope I will be able to develop it more in the future.
Thank you for your presence, dear reader! I hope to see you later again! Here is the end of this little contribution…
All the best,