I’ve got a new teaching position this year, folks. Last year, my world was e-learning. I spent hours and hours online, creating things online, learning new online techniques, failing, winning, suffering, and celebrating. It was awesome.
This year I’m at an alternative school in a small town. I have 10 students who look to me to create a safe, inclusive space (that also provides them with food). We eat a lot of grilled cheese sandwiches at lunch time.
It’s really interesting to go back to face-to-face interaction with students after a year of meeting with them in a virtual environment only. I have to monitor them. I have to get them to sit down. I have to go and retrieve them from the smoking yard. So far, we’ve had no serious meltdowns, although we did have a scary 7 minutes the other day when some of them tried to murder a hornet.
The biggest challenge for me this year is motivation. These are nice kids, and they are lovely human beings. They’re polite and reasonable. They just don’t really want to do any sort of school work, or things I disguise as school work. (I tried to get them to build a pirate ship, and we decorated cupcakes). We’re reading a pretty good book right now, and they LOVE to be read to.
I wonder if the secret is reading all day? Any suggestions, folks? There’s got to be more to it than grilled cheese.