The Sort-of-Scientific Method

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Dec 05 2012

Afterschool Success

Day 60: The inevitable happened, and I have a killer sore throat. Presiding over popsicle sales for two periods didn’t help. I can tell I was a little on edge in class, but hey, it’s hard to be Mr. Nice Guy when your throat feels like raw death.

However, my lasting memory of the day will be what happened after school. I’ve been trying to make a “Science Lab” work for weeks now. I sent letters home to both potential tutors and tutees, trying to secure attendance of both struggling students and students who could help them. For weeks now, attendance has been underwhelming, with five or so kids showing up, most of whom needed zero help.

Not the case today. Today, I had about 20 kids, and all of them were working. SB and JV in 6B were a little bonkers, but even they got their work done. I had kids re-taking quizzes, kids helping others prepare to re-take quizzes, kids filling out graphic organizers, kids working on extra credit, kids working alone, kids helping each other.

This definitely wasn’t silent and calm, but I couldn’t have cared less. I had 20 kids working hard on science, after dismissal! Nearly 10 kids re-took quizzes, with the unit test coming up Friday! Yes, I may be an super-nerd for getting excited about this stuff, but hey, I have no problems with that. At some point, I got so excited that I ran out, grabbed my camera from my classroom, and taped everyone in the room working.

Good for my voice? Hell no. Good for my soul to see 20 kids caring enough to show up after school, and reinforcing their knowledge and skills in the process? Hell yes!

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Experimental Procedures of a Second-Year Teacher

Greater Boston
Middle School

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