Tag Archives: Tutor

School, Suddenly Silent, Slightly Spooky

For the past year or so, I’ve been able to see what life is like on the other side of the desk. Well, not the desk so much. I mean, I probably spent more time sitting on a floor than I did anywhere else when I was working as a Title 1 Tutor at Awesome Elementary, but I think you dudes get the idea.

Anyway, what I’ve been facing is that my school year didn’t end with the school year.

All the students got to leave on Friday, content that their school year was over and excited that their summer had begun. On Monday, when every other school-related person was sleeping in, I was getting up early. After all, I had to be back at school to help shut it down for the summer.

It was very, very strange, dudes. Let me tell you.

The hallways echoed with the sounds of my footsteps, rather than the sound of hundreds of voices and feet pounding out a constant wave of sound. Everything seemed so big, without the students there to fill the place up.

It is, to paraphrase a title I’ve read around here recently, a bit spooky in there. The teachers are hard at work, taking down posters from their walls, corralling books left behind by students, even cleaning out some desks that students did not. Which, let me tell you, is not something I would wish on my worst enemy. One young girl left behind somewhat finished milk cartons, somewhat finished Capri Sun pouches and half-eaten foods. In her desk. Yikes!

And there I am, wandering through it all.

It’s a lot cooler inside without the students producing all that body heat, making it much easier for the school’s old HVAC system to cope with the suddenly very hot temperatures.

But still, I miss it. I miss the unselfconscious smiles. I miss the surprise-attack hugs. I miss the laughter.

It’s been a heck of a year, dudes. A heck of a year that I spent learning from some wonderful teachers, some astonishing students and, oddly, from myself. It’s something I recommend to everyone if you have the chance. Go into a classroom, volunteer and get to spend some time with younger little dudes and dudettes. I guarantee you will experience something pure and wonderful, no matter the kid or the school.

Teachers do not teach for the money. I’ve always been told that teaching is a calling, rather than a job.

I think, this past year, I’ve come to understand what they’ve been talking about.

By the way, if this post comes out looking all funky-like, please excuse it. For some reason, I’ve not been able to actually write on the blog hosting website. I’m having to send this in via e-mail and, this being my first time with that, I have no idea if it will actually work. Or, if it works, how well it will do so.

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Blork

Um, sorry, dudes. We’re having some unexpected technical difficulties

That is, I’m seriously stressed out over a lot of RL issues and having a difficult time finding the time (hah!) to sit down at this new fangled typing machine.

If you’re in dire need of finding a couple of minutes to kill, why not go check this out?

Fifth-Grade Fiction

It’s the cover to a new Amazon.com Kindle story collection featuring yr hmbl blogger. Me. The real draw, though, is the young dude who’s in there with me.

In my role as a Title 1 Tutor at Awesome Elementary School, I’ve been working with some of the fifth graders, trying to get them to see anyone can write and do it well. ish. Wellish.

Anyway, this young dude was the only one to answer the call for a winter-themed story. Give it a try. His story is fun.

My story is called Mission: Terminate Santa Claus and it’s about time travelling revenge-minded 10-year-olds shouldering a big-time beef with the Jolly Old Elf. It’s sort of funny.

Well, I liked it.

I’ll be back soon.

 

 

 

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Talking Trauma With Kids

As human beings, it seems we want to put off having talks about uncomfortable subjects for as long as possible.

I’m not sure it’s possible to put off talking about Sandy Hook elementary school for much longer. When I was at Amazing Elementary School, where I work as a tutor, on Monday, there was a lot of talk about the appalling events of Friday, when a sick man walked into an elementary school and killed 20 students, six teachers and staff and then died himself. This after having already killed his mother in the Newtown, Connecticut home they share.

The talk I was hearing didn’t come only from the teachers, worried about their young charges. The students had also heard about what happened.

I was asked several times what I knew about the incident, as if because I was an adult, I would know all there was to know about, well, everything. Yeah, elementary schoolers are still in that trusting phase. Which makes what happened at Sandy Hook all the worse.

Still, dudes, I think it’s something we need to discuss with our young dudes and dudettes. I know I want my kids to hear about my interpretation of what happened.

These kinds of things, no matter horrific and terrible they are, really are rare. Not rare enough, of course, but they’re not something that happens very often.

I want my kids to know, in general, what they need to do if something like this happens in their school. Hiding or running away from the crazy with the gun is a much better idea than running toward.

It’s the talks like this with younger kids, though, that will take the most effort on the part of parents to make sure they understand. They’re going to be completely weirded out that someone would kill kids their own age. The most important thing you can do, according to experts, is remain calm.

If you’re freaking out about the whole thing, there’s no way the kid will hear anything but your fear.

“You want to do it in an open-ended calm way, ‘this happened,’ ” said psychiatrist and NBC TODAY contributor Dr. Gail Saltzon on Saturday. “But stay calm, because children take their cues from you. If you’re hysterical, they won’t even hear the information, they’ll hear your emotion. You want to be listening to what they are concerned about.”

Be honest, “but don’t over-inform about details.”

No one is expecting you to know everything or be able to guarantee your child perfect safety from the scum-sucking weasels of the world, but you can be there to listen to your child.

Talk to her, give him reassurance. You can offer them love and arms to hug. Give them information about what happened, but don’t put adult fear into young lives. They get enough of that from the real world already.

— Richard

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