Next week I begin a new part time job that seems like it will be a better fit for my skillset than washing dishes at Sur la Table: I’m the Reading Specialist for the Clintonville Resource Center’s Kids Clubs, their after school program. There are three sites, and I’ll spend about two hours a week at each site working to help K-5 children become better readers (and writers).
I know exactly what to do, and yet I have no idea what I’m doing.
I have no classroom to prepare, no classroom library from which to easily pull books, no real context for the work we will do or real influence outside of the bits of time we will spend together.
If it was true as a classroom teacher, it is even more true now: I have to make every minute count. Guess what I’m planning to use as short texts that are brimming with all kinds of instructional moves for students of all ages? POETRY, of course! And because poetry is often neglected in the regular classroom, that is where I hope to find my opportunity for context and influence.
Just like in the classroom, we will begin by getting to know each other. We’ll start by sharing our favorites — favorite foods, favorite things to do, favorite (and maybe not so favorite) ways to feel.
We’ll talk and read and draw and write. I’ll listen, ask, and notice. All very good places to begin, even when you think you have no idea what you’re doing.