Monday, August 24, 2015

First Day!

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:
The building is an old car dealership, so the classroom area is one LARGE space (where they worked on the cars), now separated by partitions. So the space is rather noisy at times.
We had a nice snack, drew some zentangles, listened to a read-aloud of Hatchet by Gary Paulsen (chapter one), talked a bit about setting and characters, played outside, learned a couple of games (rather half-heartedly), and eagerly went home. This was the kids' first day of school (before coming to our program in the afternoon), so they were pretty exhausted. Most days we'll spend time on their homework, but they had none on this their first school day.

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!


  1. Yes, it is hard after being able to do our own thing at home! I hope you find a lot of blessing in helping those kiddos and you come to love it. :)

  2. Our kids loved reading aloud the book "Hatchet." I hope you like your new job and I'm sure you'll be making a difference in those kiddos' lives.

  3. Enjoy your new job with your group of kids. With your love of teaching and love for others, I think you all will do fine.

    Have a great week ~ FlowerLady

  4. I'm sure you will do just fine. Sounds like a good thing for the kids and they will come to love you. : )

  5. Way to go on the first day. - Is this an afternoon school project?

  6. Those children are blessed to have you. You have a good philosophy there, and I'm sure they will benefit greatly under your watch. Praying for energy for you!


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