Women in Early Childhood Education: My Interview With Bisola Babatunde-Idowu Who Teaches in Nigeria by Mike Prochaska
Bisola Babatunde-Idowu lives in Ogun, Nigeria, and works with the 2- to 6-year-olds at Great Expectations Private School in Lagos, Nigeria. She's also a member of the 30Seconds tribe! Read on to learn more about Bisola…
Q. Can you tell us about Nigeria?
"Ogun State is a rural state, very calm and peaceful, lots of greenery and the people are extremely warm n friendly. I live in Ogun State and work in Lagos State, which are both in the western part of Nigeria. It is very peaceful, warm weather, happy people though the conditions are hard, but the Nigerian populace are happy optimistic people full of hope for a better tomorrow. Our tourism sites are exceptional and beautiful."
Q. What is it like teaching in Nigeria?
"Teaching in Nigeria is gradually picking up. More people are not personally taking responsibility in the private sector with a sole goal of adding value to children and growing a global citizens for the world."
Q. What are the advantages of having male teachers in the classroom? Do you have male teachers?
"Having the presence of a male model in the classroom can be beneficial in many ways. Male educators have a direct impact in the child-care classroom by [promoting] gender balance, and males promote a more active, physical environment in the child. Men and women have different caring styles and behaviors, which can benefit children. It introduces children to different styles of caring, playing and instructing (Rolfe, 2006).
"Children are able to experience and observe positive relationships between men and women. Children experience a positive male role mode, something they may not experience at home. Males and female brains process information differently; the male can provide a different perspective in dealing with situations with the children (Rolfe, 2006). There is a possibility of gender issues within a workplace; having a male can challenge the stereotypes in relations to toys and activities (Rolfe, 2006).
"There are two male teachers now at the school – our ICT teacher as well as our speech therapist are male."
Q. Why is play important for children?
"Play allows children to use their creativity while developing their imagination, dexterity and physical, cognitive and emotional strength. Play is important to healthy brain development. It is through play that children at a very early age engage and interact in the world around them."
Q. What is a favorite memory working with children?
"There was this time that a little girl was enrolled in the school and she has partial cerebral palsy relating to speech delay and sentence formation, but with love and care she was able to start talking and making sentences. I remember clearly her first sentence to me was, ‘Mrs. Idowu, I love you.’ It touch me deeply and is one of my most favorite memory working with children."
Q. What is your favorite book to read to the classroom?
"Mr. Potato Head is our favorite book to read here."
Q. What is your favorite activity to do with your children?
"My kids enjoys hide-and-seek or any outdoor game that involves searching for things."
Q. What would you tell someone thinking about getting into Early Childhood Education?
"Establishing a chemistry of trust between the children and ourselves is a great deal more important than to charge into the next three chapters of the social studies text or packaged reading system we have been provided: the same one that was used without success by previous instructors and to which the children are anesthetized by now. Entrap them first in fascination. Entrap them in a sense of merriment and hopeful expectations."
Q. Anything else you would like to tell us?
"I work in an inclusive school and the school helps in enrollment of children with different disabilities. We take in children that the society has tagged outcast and have put a label on that they can't amount to anything, we train, educate and empower them for life. We don't segregate, we welcome and develop life-long support for each child."
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