Monday, October 03, 2005


KidsRead, day 1 (for me, anyway). I am paired with 3 boys. Normally we try to do a one-on-one situation so that each child gets the maximum attention possible, but due to an abundance of children and a lack of trained tutors, many of us are working with two or even three kids in the same grade level.

My three boys are a mixed lot: two are chinese, two like Captain Underpants, and two can finish their homework without getting too distracted. And yes, it's a different pair each time. They're very gregarious and would rather laugh over Dav Pilkey's cartoons than read anything serious, but I got them to at least finish their spelling worksheets. They did their math homework, too. I'm not supposed to let them, as this is a reading workshop and not a study hall, but I'll admit I was unprepared. At the end we all trooped into the kids' section and each boy picked out a book he wanted to take home. Assignment: To read one chapter for next week's session... except I later found out there is no session next week, so they'll have two weeks to read. Yay? We'll be using the books they picked out as guides, I hope, so we can work on vocabulary, reading comprehension and reading out loud without switching materials each time they come in. The idea is that they will get some enjoyment out of reading the books they chose, I'll be able to judge their reading level more easily and mark progress, and by the end of the semester they should have completed one or more chapter books on their own. If it works I'll be thrilled.

I think being a teacher is going to be an incredible challenge, but at least I'm getting practice with smaller groups. And boys. Working at a Girl Scout camp leaves one with a rather lopsided education as far as the workings of children. I understand girls okay, and I am one, so that helps... but the opposite gender at any age is still rather mysterious, aside from the fact that most of them think toilet humor is great. Maybe tutoring three boys will help. Maybe it will drive me up a bookshelf.

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