This week was Spiritual Emphasis and Character Focus Week. Let me just say that alone made it in an interesting week to start teaching full time. When I came in on Monday morning, I still had yet to figure out the schedule for the day, but by the time I'd finished writing it on the board, I had a better idea. I was just praying that the kids knew where to go, because I surely couldn't tell them where they needed to be and when. I was on cold meds and could barely think!
I've already mentioned that here at YISS we have both the NICS (Christian) track and the Oasis (non-Christian) track. So, we run Spiritual Emphasis Week and Character Focus week simultaneously. Each group has its own session where they think about who they are and how they can improve their lives.
Because we had the same speaker and musical guests for both groups, we had a scheduling nightmare. While our Oasis kids were in their Character Focus assembly, we had 90 minute blocks with our NICS kids in the classroom. Then, they switched places, so while the NICS kids were in Chapel, the Oasis kids went to a 90 minute block class. Twenty-five twelve year olds in the same room for an hour and a half. Whew. What fun!
In the blocks I taught, we did a special focus on poetry. We talked about different types, the basic structure, and some figurative language. Then they got to read some poetry on their own sitting on pillows around the room, and have a snack. Lastly, they wrote their own poems where they had to tell me what they'd been thinking about this week in light of Spiritual Emphasis and Character Focus. I'm sure you can guess that they were thrilled about it! I think Eric's classes had a lot more fun because they spent the time creating their own little society where they had to figure out what they wanted to spend their money on (i.e food, entertainment, bills) and got a glimpse into their futures.
For the most part, I feel like the special focus this week had a positive impact. There were times when I was frustrated with their inability to stay awake and focused in Chapel and Assembly. And there were times when I heard poems about how bored and tired they were. There were times when I felt like everything was working against me, personally. But, I think the overall feel is that our students were renewed and inspired.
It's the simple things in life, right?