I do what I do because I was given an opportunity 18 years ago to join the Center for the Collaborative Classroom (formally known as the Developmental Studies Center).
I left the classroom to join a team at CCC to work on a National Science Foundation funded project to help kids talk to a significant adult in their life about mathematics. This project started with a school to home component that we developed with ease, something our team of teachers was comfortable with.
The next part of the project was to develop a program to be used during out-of-school time. At that time, even though I had been a classroom teacher, I was not very familiar with what was going on after school. To learn about the after school world we traveled across the country and visited many after school programs.
I walked into the first program, not knowing what to expect.
I was blown away by what I saw and heard. Each one that we went to I learned more and more about out-of-school time. I was really touched by the fact that the leaders looked like the kids, that kids were so comfortable being there, that it was truly a child-centered environment, that parents felt comfortable being there, it really felt like a club, with kid members and I could go on about the things that make out-of-school time magical.
Then as the project continued, I had the opportunity to work with the leaders. I used to say I felt like the Kool-Aid guy running through the desert with a big pitcher of Kool-Aid. All of the leaders were so committed, excited to learn a new way and really had the kids best interest in mind. None of this has changed.
And here is why I do what I do.
It is not only because after school is so important for the reasons I just mentioned – that is one reason. But what keeps me going is that, even though I was a classroom teacher and worked with the same kids that went to the after school program, I didn’t know the leaders, poke my head in to see how it was going, or talk to them about how we could work together to support each child.
How crazy is this? These are the same kids at 3:15 pm as they are at 8:00 am! Shouldn’t we all be working together to support them and be the “village” they need to be successful? But I do what I do so we can build this village to support OUR kids to be confident, strong and successful. The whole child, the whole day!
I never turned back and what is going on during out-of-school time is only getting better and I feel so lucky to be a part of it!
For breakfast, I had a bowl of Barbara’s Shredded Spoonfuls with some diced apples that my kids didn’t eat with their breakfast.
Author Profile: @megangreen