-By Ayotola Aremu
Yemi is a primary 3 pupil of Newhouse private school. She loves going to school and having lessons. She also loves hanging out on the playfield with her friends. They run around and play outdoor fun games.
On Sundays, she attends children’s church. She always loved going to church. They had lots of action songs and games. She loved the bible stories and always prayed to be like Jesus. At times they watch bible-based videos for children. While waiting for her parents after church, she hangs out with her friends. They just sit together and swap stories, laughing all the way.
When COVID -19 happened, and there was lockdown, she enjoyed the fact that she didn’t needs to wake up so early to get ready for school. It was a holiday coming too soon. Also on Sundays, she enjoyed being with her family all day. Daddy and Mummy, were always available. They had a short service in their living room and after that they just enjoyed t
After a month she started missing her friends. She talked to some on phone but it was not like being with them in the church or the classroom, playing pranks on teachers and unsuspecting pupils. It was not like playing on the school field and cheering the basketball teams or watching videos together after sunday school.
Every sunday on the way home, her daddy bought yoghurt drinks for them. No thanks to COVID-19, that was not to be for months. She became so restless, she started behaving cranky and naughty, she wanted out!
Welcome to the NEW NORMAL.
Yemi is an example of the typical Nigerian girl or boy who has survived the lockdown due to COVID -19 and who is itching to go back to school and to children’s church.
What should we expect from children as teachers at such a time like this as they resume school and children’s church?
- They may be very active and restless
- They may be impatient
- They may be talkative
- The little ones may not want to stay in their classes
- The little ones may cry all through the class longing to be with their older siblings or parents
- Some may be nervous and anxious, having been indoors for months
The list can go on and on
What should we do as teachers?
- We must understand that a lot of things have changed for the children.
- We must understand that they are processing things that they may not be able to say to others. The issue of the pandemic has many of them fearing if they would die or their parents, siblings or friends. Many of these issues, they would not be able to voice, but they may act based on them.
- Be very calm and gentle with the children.
- Take time to encourage them, especially with the Word of God, and pray with them.
- Allow them have enough outdoor time and a lot of activity time. Do meaningful bible games that involve a lot of movement. Do action songs that allow them to move around.
- Use the current situation, to speak to them about the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, their need to be saved, and stay in Christ
- Always pray for the children and ask God to lead you in ministering to their needs.
Finally, this is a period that if used well, could be used to lead the children into a greater and deeper walk with God.
May God find us faithful. Amen