Wednesday, June 4, 2014

IWSG: Teaching Child Zombies!

 
Here on the island, school is ending in T-minus 13 days. The day when havoc tears down the Jenga building. Kids will be heard & seen...everywhere!! Pack your zombie apocalyptic gear in your mini-vans now - they will suck us dry these next few months!
But this year, I kinda helped create these children zombies...
 
 When my son's 4th grade teacher found out I write, she scooped in at the start of the school year, asking me to carve out time in my work week. So, I dedicate an hour every Wednesday, taking a group of kids to a side room and torture them with showing not telling exercises, descriptive writing, analogies, similies, etc. Then give them a one word prompt, expecting a short story in one week. Things like a button, a door, and a wheel. The following week is one-on-one's, where we tear apart the story, and rebuild it with intriguing beginnings, climax middles, and wrap-it-up endings. I always say "let's add some pizzazz!" Finally, I read their old version to the class & let the student read their brand spanking new story!
I kid you not, I'm so proud of them I choke up every time.
 
Kids are the biggest S.O.S sponges God ever created!
 
You'll also find me in my daughter's kindergarten class those mornings doing interactive dry erase board stories where they'd have to say what it is I'm drawing, sound out words, tell me answers, and at the end...create the story's name. My daughter volunteered me, that stinker! But oh my heavens they're sickly creative creatures, too! And sometimes, I'd take a book, and read it. But not just read it-read it, it needed to be acted out by everyone. Sounds made, movements moved, just tons of fun!
 

There's nothing more rewarding then walking in a room, & the kids smile, yelling to the teacher "She's here! She's here!". Followed by a few hugs & a few "I like your shirt, and your hair, and your jewelry, and..." (Kinder reactions) And then an "ahhhh-man" when not picked for groups. Or the big "this story is awesome!" when we revise it. (4th grade reactions)
 
Last week, I not only received this awesome thank you candy bouquet for volunteering....
Best surprise...eva!!!
...but also a refreshed passion for writing! When you get to teach what you know, surprisingly you start "getting it" more. But I'm just happy to be asked to do it again next year...
(crossing fingers for a bigger candy bouquet!)
 
What experience(s) have you had through children or adults that helped you "get it"?

30 comments:

Miranda Hardy said...

That sounds like a great experience. So rewarding in many ways.

Natalie Aguirre said...

So great what you're doing at your kids' school. Good luck when summer break starts.

Melissa said...

What an awesome thing you did for those kids! That's so cool, Tammy!

Mucho kudos!!!
IWSG #215 until Alex culls the list again.

SA Larsenッ said...

YAY! I love it when teachers see the value in a parent who writes. Thrilled you shared your experiences. I'm sure it meant a ton to those kiddos.

DAVID WALSTON said...

My kids would have taken my candy!

Elise Fallson said...

That's awesome, I'm sure the kids loved you, I wish I could have been part of the group, I know I would have learned something. And now I want a candy bouquet! :)

David P. King said...

See! Volunteering pays off! And I think between my early work schedule and new workout routine in the afternoon, the zombie my family has to worry about this summer is me. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Awesome you inspired those kids to do better! Nothing more satisfying than giving to another person.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

How sweet! Literally. Kids can be so much fun and you have just the energy they need to learn!!

cleemckenzie said...

How super. You get to work with kids a lot. I love doing workshop, but I only have the chance twice a year.

Tammy Theriault said...

YES IT IS SUPER REWARDING!!

Pat Hatt said...

Helping them create sure has to be a rewarding fate. Not to mention the gift and cheers lol

Chrys Fey said...

I would've looked at you with admiration if you came in to my school to teach me and my class. I loved writing lessons so much. I would've been the little girl with big eyes trying to impress you. ;) One day, I hope to be able to do what you do for those kids.

S.K. Anthony said...

Amazing and wonderful!!! Yay for you and the kids! :D

Andrew Leon said...

I spent the past year teaching creative writing in my kids' middle school all day on Fridays to each English class. On a volunteer basis. I know they want me again for next year, but I can't afford to volunteer that much time again.

Jay Noel said...

You are just too cool for words. So glad I know you, chica.

Elephant's Child said...

Wow, wow, and wow. In the race to determine who gets most out of your volunteering I love that the answer is.... A DEAD HEAT.

Crystal Collier said...

How fun! There's nothing quite so rewarding as teaching. You make me want to volunteer at the local elementary school. Seriously.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

How rewarding to be able to inspire young writers. I hope they keep their joy in the creative process.

Tammy Theriault said...

THANKS, YES DEAD HEAT!! Lol

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

Tammy, you have me smiling. It sounds like you're a great teacher with an enthusiastic bunch that knows it.

S.P. Bowers said...

What an awesome experience! I bet you changed some of their lives.

Shannon Lawrence said...

How fun! Zombifying children through writing. Who knew?

Michael Di Gesu said...

Congrats TAMS!!!! What a great pic of you!

Really like the zombie illustration... to fun!

What a great program. I always wanted to teach art to kids, but never seem to get around to it or have the teaching certificate. I suppose I can get it, I do have my BFA in fine art/illustration/design... Maybe some day.

You look SO HAPPY!!!!!

Gina Stoneheart said...

Tammy, how sweet of you to volunteer your free time to work with the children. I loved the quote you share because we truly do leave our marks on our kids. I give author visits and presentations to grades K-3rd and all of my work is volunteer. I visit both low and middle income schools mostly and I can't even begin to describe the feeling I get giving the presentation as well as leaving the schools. We are blessed to love and enjoy what we do... as well as leave a mark on a child's creative and artistic ability.

Theresa Milstein said...

I love hearing about you working with those 4th-grade kids! Great kid zombie pix!

klahanie said...

Hey Tam-bare,

You write? When did that happen? Okay, I think that's wonderful you dedicate that time to helping those children. To recreate a story can be so much fun.

I'm glad you get noted for all the good you do.

I do loads of stuff that made me realise I get it. Unfortunately, others don't necessarily get me.

Thanks for being part of the "I Was Seeking Gary", dedication thingy.

Gary :)

Sherry Ellis said...

What you did for the kids at school was awesome! Kids can be so fun to work with.

Jeff Hargett said...

This is just super. Igniting the energetic imagination of young ones is a gift they'll take with them for a very long time. They'll be more creative and think outside the box so much better for this. A big kudos (and thanks) to you.

Tammy Theriault said...

Thanks for the love everyone!!