This has been my first year at TLS and therefore my first year as an EIR. I have had the great pleasure of working at Bristol Consolidated School (BCS) with mostly grades 4th through 7th for the past five weeks. I have been working with BCS Principal, Jennifer Ribeiro, and Guidance Counselor, Francine Rondina to make my role at BCS both perfectly versatile and uniquely purposefully. Having a Math Education background I have been able to work with the students comfortably both academically and non-academically. Throughout my day at BCS, I take every possibility I can to make a connection with a student. I eat lunch with the students everyday and try my best to keep up with all the rules on the 4-sqaure court at recess, which lately has proven to be even more difficult since the snow is covering the lines of the court. The overall essence of my role is to be a positive role model for the students at BCS.
For the past few weeks I have been working with the 5th grade on an activity called Explore to Ecuador. Explore to Ecuador is an activity that encourages being healthy, active, and having a global awareness. Each day I lead the 5th grade in some form of physical activity and we keep track of the physical activity we do as a class on a map from Maine to Ecuador and back! The students are also participating in a Soda Free Challenge and they keep track of the days they don’t drink any soda. It has been a great program so far and an easy opportunity for me to slip in some TLS curriculum.
Each grade has identified one area where the class as a whole needs to improve. Part of my position here at BCS is to use the TLS curriculum to help the classrooms grow in those troublesome areas. For the 4th grade it is teambuilding. So far I have had one opportunity to really work with the 4th grade on teambuilding. I decided to start the students off with a very challenging activity, Flip Tarp, just to gauge where they were really struggling. Flip Tarp is a challenge where you have an entire team stand on a tarp that has been laid out flat and the team has to work together to flip the tarp over onto the other side without anyone ever stepping off of it. Before we started this activity we brainstormed “What makes a team successful?” and the students shared some brilliant ideas. We had a great conversation about being “bossy” and being a leader. I was surprised how well the students worked together during the challenge. I came to the conclusion that the students know what it takes to be a successful team and they can practice those things fairly effectively, but the students don’t recognize other places they can use these techniques (i.e. group projects). I’m looking forward to working with them again to bridge that gap. I think this is a great example of the work I am doing at BCS. For me, it’s all about taking the TLS curriculum and demonstrating how it truly fits into the everyday lives of these students.