Jefferson Village School’s Educator in Residence: Lexi
JVS has been extremely welcoming to me in my first year as an EIR. Finding myself wandering the halls of a K-8 school has been an exciting experience with some of the new social emotional curriculum at my disposal. I first found my footing making relationships in the cafeteria, sitting with each table long enough to get to know each student’s name and what their daily life is like. I’ve found that generally speaking, Friday pizza and Taco Tuesday are the most cherished meal days. Recess was another place where I quickly made friendships with each grade, showing off my advance swinging skills, as well as my ability to dunk on the seven and a half foot basketball rim. I’ve also been working with students every morning in art room, working side by side with students in hopes that they can get a chance to see an adult express themselves in alternative ways. I’ve worked extensively with the behavioral therapy room to develop relationships with students who need a little extra guidance, which has been extremely rewarding.
When I’m not in these few places, I’m working with students and teachers to extend the ideas of what is possible inside the classroom. Fifth grade has been a joy to work with, and while I have learned many lessons in patience over these past few weeks, the students have made active, intentional strides towards a greater understanding of empathy and impulse control. I’ve tried to spend equal time working with each grade, developing or building onto the basics of identity and kindness and respect from kindergarten all the way through 8th grade.
Jefferson is a wonderfully close knit community. Outside of Kieve it is not unlikely to bump into students at the local Hannaford, or the Y, or even at Kieve climb nights. So far my favorite place to bump into students has been the Lincoln Theater, which has been showing The Lord of The Rings trilogy for free right after school. In this way I’ve found that I have plenty in common with Jefferson students. Beyond that I have found an important bridge to our relationships in the hardships of growing up. Learning to stick up for yourselves is as important as sticking up for those around you. Many of the students from Jefferson have been together since their first days of Kindergarten, when they were five and six years old, now some of them heading off to high school have created a strong bond of trust. This has made working with students an absolute joy, and made our team building and empathy exercises all the more rewarding.
Next week I will be helping chaperone two separate middle school trips to Augusta’s Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine. The field trips so far have given me a chance to get to know students outside of the immediate school bubble, and as a forever student of history I am all the more excited to make this important trip with them. Students across grades have already sat down with me to have important discussions of identity, friendship, kindness and stewardship towards their own community and the wider world they live in, and I will continue to look forward to these conversations over the final few weeks we have together.
Nobleboro Central School’s Educators in Residence: Kalina and Nelson
This is together our fourth year of being an educator in residency, with Kalina in her first year and Nelson in his third. It has been a pleasure to be placed at Nobleboro Central where the kids and faculty are a combination of helpful, creative and welcoming. Our primary project is to run an after school program. We have different grades come each day and have invited the 7th and 8th graders to come and help out with any days they would like. We have a few that take advantage of this and it has been lovely to see them care for the younger students alongside us. Our after school activities were picked based on activities the students shared that they would be interested in. We strive to implement those activities each week and provide an enjoyable time for each student.
Both of us spend days floating between different classes and occasionally fill in for teachers during different times. Nelson spends a lot of the time with the older students and enjoys going to steam and math as well is always out on recess duty. During recess he enjoys having conversations with the students. He has found mutual connections among many students and with this voluntarily spends extra time with them doing things both enjoy like playing Magic and baking.
Kalina spends her day with the younger students and enjoys going to specialties. At recess she plays geography games with the students who wish to play that involves learning the 50 states and fun facts about each of them. Did you know the reuben sandwich originated in Nebraska? She is hoping to extend the interest the students have taken in geography and set up a penpal system so those students can learn about different regions of the country from their peers.
A highlight we both have had was giving blood at the student organized blood drive, as well as getting to see the 6th graders learn about carbon sequestration at Damariscotta River Association. We enjoyed seeing these students in a different learning environment and were blown away by their ability to take what they were learning about and create a forest regulation plan. Each day we enjoy informal interactions among students at lunch and recess. We like this because we feel this is where we really get to know them and their interests.
Nobleboro hosted a Geography Bee in early January. Grades fourth through eighth had two representatives. Each student shared a vast knowledge about the world but in the end it came down to a 7th grader showdown for the winner. Our winner then took a test where he achieved over 70%. With this score we are very proud of him and excited he will be representing Nobleboro at the Regional Geography Bee at The University of Maine Farmington.
The basketball teams at Nobleboro had a very successful season. We enjoyed following along and going to games that we could. We saw how hard they worked and their love for the sport and are very proud of both the girls and the boys in their respective accomplishments. This year our boys won the League Championship! Go Lions!
Time has gone by incredibly fast and we aren’t ready to be done in a month. We are fortunate that this spring we will have a split extension of our EIR position by alternating weeks at Nobleboro. On top of this we are organizing day trips to Kieve for our 6th through 8th graders to help them be as successful as possible when they come during spring programming. We are ever so thankful for our time thus far and are excited for the future! Go Lions!