As it always seems to do, time continues to fly and our first term of the 2016 school year is already behind us. We’ve been on term break for most of April and second term starts in less than a week.
I started to teach again in January. Nathaniel was only 6 months but because of our unique situation, I felt comfortable putting in a few hours each day between nursing sessions. I’ve been helping with chapel and then working with students until morning break while Joel works from home with the baby. Then he makes the one minute commute to the office while I put my mommy hat back on. It’s been great engaging back in school life again while still being able to be home for most of the day. Living on a school campus, so much of life is integrated here. I can bring Nathaniel to chapel (he’s even debuted his acting career playing both a monkey and baby Moses), he can play on the office floor during meetings and after school we can walk to the boarding hall and hang out with kids while they do homework or just play. The kids love him and he loves them. It works well!
We always start the term with a teacher inservice day. Since our theme this term was literature, I led a session on fiction and non-fiction texts. We did a game using Venn diagrams to compare and contrast text features. It’s always fun to see the teachers engaging in new activities that they will hopefully try with their students. It is easy to overwhelm them with new ideas so I try to find simple activities they can implement and add a new dimension to learning.
I am currently working with 26 students ranging from grade one to six. With the younger students we are focusing on identifying letters and sounds and forming words. With the older students we have been working on reading fluency, sight words and comprehension. Progress can feel slow at times, but every little step forward is encouraging and I love seeing their confidence growing. There are a few students I am hoping to work with one-on-one next term to give them an extra boost.
It feels like there are about a hundred more things I could be doing to help out here, but with three young kids this feels like the right balance for now. It’s been very quiet on campus for the last few weeks and we look forward to the place coming alive again in a few days as term two begins.