By Leah Posner, a member of the SkillCorps Kenya July 2017 team and a teacher from New Jersey
Team Kenya July 2017 has just completed our third day at Kaizora. We have met with Pooja and her staff, observed the students and staff at work, set some sustainable goals for our time here, and already put our plan of action into place.
As much as working towards goals to support Kaizora in the areas of natural environment teaching (NET) and data collection for problem behaviors has been exciting work for our team of behaviorists and teachers, Circle Time has almost immediately become my favorite time of day at Kaizora!
Similarly to many classrooms across the globe, Kaizora starts their morning with Circle Time . The words “circle time” probably conjure up many images for those of us who have worked in schools. However, this period of the day at Kaizora has been so much more- it fills the room with beautiful voices, passion, energy, and huge smiles.
As the staff lead the students in various songs and dances, I am able to recognize many of the songs from my childhood, or as songs I share with my students back home in New Jersey, just with slight differences in lyrics or tunes. During these songs, many of the students I had observed the day before engaging in problem behavior throughout sessions, were now smiling from ear to ear, with stereotypy and other target behaviors rates of nearly zero.
Circle time has been an incredible time to witness the staff at Kaizora being playful with their students and loving the work they do each day. This twenty minutes each morning sets a great tone for the day. It leaves our SkillCorps team feeling energized for the day of work ahead, “filling up our cups” each morning with reminders for why we are here- to support the dedicated and passionate staff here in Nairobi in providing the best possible services for the incredible group of students at Kaizora.