Updated: Oct 6
Elsa Naima Binte Muhammad Nashrudin, MOE Kindergarten @ West Spring
Elsa is Aaron’s number one motivator and a thoughtful friend to him in many aspects. Since the beginning of the school year, Elsa has consistently demonstrated a genuine desire to help and support Aaron. She often repeats the teacher’s instructions for him so that he can follow through with tasks and learn to be independent in class. If Aaron needs additional help for group activities, Elsa would inform the teacher so that she can support his learning.
Initially when Aaron was learning to write his name, Elsa helped him with the spelling. When she found out he was not able to write the alphabets because of unfamiliarity, she wrote them on another piece of paper to show him how to do it. At times when the task becomes challenging for Aaron, he would give up. Elsa would encourage him to complete a task when he lacks the motivation. For example, she would show him what he should do even if she has not completed her own work yet. Then, Elsa would ask him to do it on his own but if Aaron doesn’t comply, she goes on to complete her task first. After which, she would come back to Aaron saying, “Look at mine, you can make yours too. Let me help you.” She then supports him by doing the craft with him so that he can learn and complete his craft too. She also inspires others to come alongside to care for him. During play sessions, she would make the effort to include him. As he is still learning to share, Elsa usually gives in to him so that he would not be upset and have a meltdown. She tells her friends to be understanding in the same way. She would also say to her group mates, “Let’s help Aaron carry his things,” when he forgets.
As the teacher is currently training Aaron to remember his friends name, he needs to recite 5 of his peers’ names daily. When he is asked to do so and he takes time to recall them, Elsa would encourage him, saying, “ Come on Aaron, say your friends name!” After which, she prompt him with the first syllable, and Aaron would be able to say his classmate’s name with her help. The class had observed what Elsa did, and now other classmates also support him in providing the first syllable for him to call out his friends names!
On one occasion during playtime, Aaron used a wooden toy to hit a few peers, one of which was Elsa. He hit her on her face, which caused a red mark on one of her cheeks. The teacher told Aaron to apologise and explained why he should not have done that. Later on, Aaron used his hand to pat her head and repeated the word “sorry” to her. She said “It’s okay” and was asked to rest by her teacher. After a few minutes when she was better, she told the teacher, “I’m okay now, can I play with Aaron?” The teacher was impressed and touched by her nature, and called her parents to share about to incident to affirmed her actions that stemmed from her heart of gold. It was truly remarkable to witness the extraordinary bond that had formed between them. In the past few months, Elsa was placed in a different group from Aaron so that he is no longer reliant on Elsa’s support. The teacher was also hoping to develop empathy in other children. Despite that, Elsa continued to look out for Aaron. Despite that, Elsa continues to look out for Aaron. Whenever the class prepares for outdoor play and she notices that Aaron is ready yet, she would ask “Where is Aaron?” The way she looks out for him in commendable indeed, and the teacher has used Elsa’s attitude and actions to as a model to educate the rest so that more children can learn to be inclusive, and learn to support and accept children with special needs.