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Two Writing Teachers
We are currently entering week four of the intervention. I was told (by teachers who implemented this program last year) that the first six weeks would be the tough and I should expect to be tired and frustrated. Even the consultant who trained us in the program agreed.
They were both correct that I would be tired. I've started wearing my sneakers every afternoon. I stand for most of the 2.5 hours, and I'm seriously out of shape. I've started walking or using my elliptical every day I can to help with this. I'm also sitting down and giving the kids a few stretch breaks. It's helping all of us to regain energy and focus.
I plan to continue my fashion faux pas for the remainder of the year, and I plan to buy new sneakers soon!
I'm doing my best to keep a smile on my face and implement the intervention with fidelity. It's hard not to go off on tangents, but I've managed to keep my focus on the materials in front of me.
I have a few students who need lots of redirection and reminders about good behavior. Thankfully, our school social worker stops in every day to give my neediest student a physical break. She has helped me implement a focus ticket program that's going well. The students may need a few fillings after eating all the Jolly Ranchers they are consuming as rewards, but I'm not going to worry about that yet.
The best thing about the new program is that my students look forward to the afternoons. I am planning to survey them about why they like coming to my little classroom. They are now a group of 10, since we added a young lady who just arrived from Mexico. She is learning the routine of the program and is happy to soak it all in with translation help from others. We are working on building a community of learners, and we've made some growth there (we're far from full-out acceptance, but we'll keep working!).
I'll never forget one lesson where the students watched a video of a girl singing "Clementine." We were to learn to speak with purpose and recite the song as a poem. To my surprise, they launched into song. Then they kept singing in the hall as they returned to their homerooms for afternoon dismissal. I couldn't help but laugh as I heard one soft-spoken 5th grade boy sing the loudest.
Kids are full of surprises. I'm pleasantly surprised with how well (overall) my afternoons are going.