You know it’s been a good day when you walk out to your car and have a smile on your face.
It was a good day for students at our high school.
The sophomores taking Wellness right now were busy all day with Drug Education Day. Our Wellness teachers Joann Sites and Anthony Weaver have created a powerful learning experience for our students by pulling together speakers who can speak to the effects of drug abuse. Law enforcement officials. Rehabilitation center counselors. Recovering addicts. Medical professionals. Students are part of the discussions all day. Information is not only presented, but questions are answered. All of this ties into a serious research project and presentations of what they learned. I’m proud to work with colleagues who go the extra mile to prepare experiences like this for our students.
One of my seniors took on some extra writing this week and had a Nerdy Book Club post of her own on the site today. They are all gearing up to practice their senior project presentations in advance of Career Day on April 3. I’m proud of all of them and their hard work.
The ninth graders went with me on a brief trip to the elementary school to belatedly celebrate World Read Aloud Day by reading to students in fifteen classes. (A kid told me I looked stressed this morning – I was. This was the first real field trip I had ever taken my freshmen on in all my years of teaching. Just imagine if we were going more than four miles away…and for more than an hour and fifteen minutes…)
My students picked picture books to read. We practiced reading aloud. We talked about being enthusiastic and confident in our reading. We made sure that everyone had practiced showing the pictures.
I assigned five to seven readers per classroom. The kids each were able to read their books to small groups of three or four and then rotate groups.
I stopped in most of the rooms and was delighted to see the rapt attention of these beautiful little faces on my readers. I snapped a few photos (which may be up on the school website soon…), chatted with the classroom teachers, and moved on.
And just when I didn’t think my smile could get any bigger, I walked into a room where a few kids were looking around kind of bored. That’s when I realized that some first graders had borrowed their readers’ books and were reading to them! Apparently they didn’t think to switch groups and the kids decided they wanted to demonstrate how well they could read! (When we talked after we returned, many students reported that the kids wanted to read, too…so we have some plans for next time!)
I had figured that the experience would be re-energizing for my readers, but I was amazed at how my seventh period class was talking at once about the experience just as much as my fourth and fifth period classes. They had lots of stories (“One little boy told me his daddy died when he was three and I didn’t know what to say…”) and observations (“Little kids were sitting on my feet while I read so they could be closer to the book!”) to share and could hardly wait. I did have them write about their experiences – and maybe I’ll share some of their thoughts with you tomorrow.
In the meantime, I’ll sit here and reflect fondly on my day and start making my notes for next year.