One of my biggest goals in taking over Navasota Intermediate, has been to instill a love of learning. I've always said I wanted to be a part of a school where kids are running INTO school instead of running out of it.
As an administrator I feel it's my role to do all that I can for the success of these kids. I don't want to be boxed into any of these stereotypical roles that administrators are perceived to be (and some are). I have never wanted to be the Principal who works out of his office all day. From day one I have said I wanted to be actively involved in the education of these students.
I have taught classes, filled in for teachers, taught after school tutoring, and so much more as an administrator. But I wanted to test a theory I had and try something that would require a little more sacrifice from our students.
I wanted to try a Saturday School.
But I wanted to do it differently. I didn't want to mandate it for anyone. I just wanted to share with the students what my plan was for that day, invite them, and see if they'd show up.
So this past Saturday we did our very first ever Saturday School. I had about 60 kids show up!!
I had kind of planned it last minute, so I was able to get my wife (who works with PreK) to lead an art station, my mom (who teaches 4th) to lead a writing activity, I led a math activity, my instructional coach did a character education activity, and one of my SPED teachers lead a reading activity. And it was a blast!
We had 4th graders from 9:30-11:30 and 5th graders from 12:00-2:00.
The feedback was great from the students and many asked if we could do it every weekend. That's when I was reminded of something. Many of the students in this population come from homes or environments with which they seek to escape. As adults, many of us look forward to the weekend and the break from work, but so many kids dread the weekend and the solitary moments it may bring or the scary moments or the harmful moments.
Now, unfortunately I don't have the time or resources to do this every weekend (yet!) haha. But our plan is to offer this once a month. I already have teachers who have approached me and asked if they could do robotics, or teach french, or teach sewing! And why not? Why can't I invite kids up to school and allow them to choose what they want to learn about for a Saturday? To create a kind of "edcamp" for kids!
My mind is just spinning with the possibilities of what this could morph into, but I know it's only the beginning!