I was very excited to be returning to the Searsport School district for another winter of EIR. Already knowing most of the staff and students made it very easy to jump right back into the flow of things. We received many heartwarming welcome backs from lots of the students, which was a great way to set the tone for the season. Every week Neil and I have the opportunity to work with the 6th and 7th grade classes during their guidance blocks where we do many different kinds of activities, including reflection and team building. Thursdays after school we help lead a restorative circle as an alternative to detentions, followed by running an hour of after school activities. We also attend GSTA meetings when we have the time. These are the routine things, but they are by no means boring. Each week the students get to learn or experience something new, and we are lucky enough to share these experiences with them.
In addition to the routine schedule, we have set up a system so the teachers can request us to come in and do special activities. Some of these include:
- Being a Judge for the 8th grade “Design for Good, Shark Tank” project.
- Planning and running “Winter Games” activities for the middle school, such as how to build a shelter and snow person building.
- Accompanying the 8th grade to the Waldo County Tech Center for an “Amazing Race” event.
With still plenty of time left in the EIR season, I’m hoping to give the students an opportunity to experience our portable climbing wall, and help the students wherever and whenever I can.
This is my second year as an educator in residence in the Searsport school district. The EIR experience has been one of the highlights of my two and a half years at The Leadership School. Chris and I were very busy from the start this season facilitating guidance classes, running activities during advisories, and just reconnecting with students in the hallways and at lunch that we met last year. Some of the first things we heard some of the younger students say to Chris and I was, “when can we come to Kieve!?” That was awesome to hear and very surprising compared to last year. Seeing the teachers that we had worked alongside was great as well! I feel as though we have 100 percent of their trust and support this year after doing a workshop with them prior to this EIR season.
Some highlights from the past month have been our help with the implementation of a restorative circle after school as an alternative to detention. Also, Chris and I run an hour of the after school program following the restorative circle every Thursday.
Over at the elementary school Chris and I have been facilitating activities during their “Winter Games” where we get every grade outside during separate blocks of the day. Some of the lessons we taught during those blocks included shelter building, wilderness survival and snowman making.
Chris and I have also accompanied the 8th graders on their field trip to the Waldo County Tech Center for their “Amazing Race.” This is where the students found out what great options there are at this alternative school!
The upcoming 4 weeks are going be both hectic and fun as we gear up to lead more of the middle school guidance classes and restorative detention circles. The faculty are putting their full trust into us and this makes Chris and I work that much harder!