Friday, March 27, 2009

So Much Done!

I am proud to write that a lot has been accomplished in my first 2 months on sabbatical. We just published our first newsletter, by next week the website will be launched. All my tutors are in place and seem to be enjoying tutoring tho sometimes they kind of do what they want despite my lessons. I guess I can live with that particularly since I told them they could do that! Next year I will tell them to follow the lesson plan closely. I am getting another school up and running. It's a lot of work but not as much work as it was getting myself up and running at my home school. I have started teaching and remember how time-consuming teaching is. You have to prep, teach, review and then prep again. It is fun, tho. Our second session of the after school program has begun, as well. We have tried to be too accommodating and have too many students in our Wednesday group....again changes for next year. We will limit the number of students and only have them come in grade-level groups. It's all a learning process. Now I will get the other school set up to function without me, go on some visits to see exemplary programs for kids who are highly capable in math, and look for money so we can start the after school program ealier next year and so that we have money for student journals for the program that we are using. All in all......excellent progress!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

In Full Swing!

Things are going very, very well with tutoring. Despite some scheduling changes, we are moving along very well. I had a wonderful conversation with the first author of the program we are using and will modify a number of things in the program based on her good advice. I am also helping another school get up and running with tutoring and during-the-day lessons. Plus, I just started teaching my first class during the day - too fun. We are also about ready to launch the website and I'm working on getting a newsletter out. My next steps are checking out other programs in the area and seeing if I can find some grant money. Seems like this was all meant to be given how well it has all worked least so far :)

Friday, March 13, 2009

And So, Tutoring Begins

When you start something new, there are always unexpected surprises. This week we started tutoring, finally. The very first day I gathered the first 2 tutors and their 4 tutees in the conference room. I was unprepared for how heart-warming that meeting would be. My male tutors are over 6 feet tall, quiet, smart high schoolers. The tutees are wide-eyed, innocent, smart 4th and 5th graders. When the tutors talked about why they were tutoring (they love math, love kids, they were these kids) there was the sweetest moment. Everybody just kind of sat there, smiling. And yesterday as one of my tallest tutors left the building, 2 of his tutees yelled out, "Bye John!." He grinned from ear-to-ear. I forgot how much the tutoring would mean to the tutors and tutees beyond learning math. What a wonderful, unexpected surprise.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Tutoring Spaces, web Sites, Newsletters

Today is the day we start tutoring and I'm excited! No snow, no tutor absences. I think we are good. The elementary kids were all chatty about it yesterday at school. What has been of interest to me is trying to find spaces to have the kids tutor in. Now, in some cases it is one very bright high school student, maybe two quietly tutoring another bright student. All we need is a corner of the room. What a difficult task that has been! To my surprise, some teachers don't want the kids (their own kids) in their rooms, ever. Several other teachers have welcomed us with big, open arms. You learn so much when you do things like this.

We have also been working steadily on our website and I think it's going to be fantastic. One teacher, a former computer teacher, has been very helpful, meeting almost every Tuesday for consultation/help. Having the kids involved is definitely the way to go. We are also making a companion newsletter to hand out to everybody in school. Things are looking good!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


So, this has been THE winter for snow! I was all excited to start the after school math tutoring. The kids were excited, the teachers were notified, the parents were ready....and then it snowed! Such is life in New England, particularly this winter. So, we will start Wednesday and all will be well :)

Friday, March 6, 2009

Teenage Tutors

So, having high school tutors tutor elementary kids is a great idea, all would agree. I have all the hopes in the world that they will become excellent role models and help their tutees learn a lot. We are all working together as a big school team....three cheers!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

All Things Pass

So, I am done with the flu. Whew. The schedule is coming together for tutoring! It's all falling into place. I have the tutors, the tutees, the program and the excitement. I can't wait to see it come together in such a way it will be self-sustaining next year, something we do year after year. The website is shaping up with student involvement. They have great ideas and I love handing it over to them. I'd love to see a newsletter come out of the website. I am excited for this to carry on next year, as well. The after school program is changing which is interesting. I love using Project M3 materials some of the time and engaging in other activities the rest of the time. All in all.....fantastic progress :) On reflection I see that I started out with such a bang that I exhausted myself and got sick so pacing is the key from now on.