The 2 - 4 year olds are in Tannie Christen’s class. Christen Malgas has been with the school for six years and is both mother and teacher to the little children in her care. Stepping into her classroom one is struck by the quiet, contentment in the room as the little ones focus on their tasks.
One of her charges moved up to Juffrou Zaan’s class this year to be prepared for school. He is quite a handful as he can hear but is unable to speak which makes him an unpredictable child to manage. It will need all Juffrou Zaan’s considerable skill to get him school-ready. Tannie Christen’s kind and unflustered management of him in his early years helped him adapt to a routine. She anticipated when he was likely to disrupt proceedings, as in a visit from the fire department. She calmly held his hand and helped him enjoy the demonstration while managing to stand still. Instead of being a frustrated, tantrum-throwing horror, he is an affectionate little boy.
An important part of her duties is to teach her little charges good personal habits like brushing teeth after meals and washing hands after going to the toilet also healthy social behaviour like not spitting or hitting.
The children in her class love her for her gentleness and her colleagues value her highly because they know they can rely on her and she always has a smile even when the going gets tough.