With great fear and trembling, this afternoon I entered a classroom again (after about five years' absence), this time with sixth graders. This is HeartWorks! My colleague and I have 23 kids on our roster, but today only about 15 came. Here's our classroom:
It's a hard line to walk -- making the environment enriching and supportive of their academics without making it just three more hours of school, after a long day of school already. We don't want that. But we want far more than babysitting. I feel if I get in something substantial each day that contributes to their education, I've done well. And I'm a big fan of unstructured play time, which they get for about 30 minutes outside each day.
It's strange to be working again, but I'm sure I'll get used to it. It's odd getting off at 6:00 and home at 6:30. That's late!