After administering a few DRA tests to third graders yesterday, I was assigned two sixth grade students — Iron and Siphosethu — to tutor after school. They finished a “Getting to Know You” worksheet I had made in their journals. Afterwards, I read them a story fromĀ The Sideway Stories of Wayside School, my go-to read, and asked them to summarize the story. I then asked them what the story made them think of in their lives, and they talked about their own classroom. We then discussed qualities that make a teacher good and bad, and the same with students. I was surprised how engaged they were in the conversation. Afterwards, I had them write creative, fictional stories about their own classroom. Siphosethu wrote a story about a mean teacher who turned her students into monsters, and Iron wrote one, which he titled, “Horrid Henry Rules the School”. As each student read their story, I made the other draw the sequence of events. They were so into it, and I was so excited that they weren’t bored! Haha, here’s a picture of what they drew:

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I only meet with them twice a week, which is really sad because I’m only here for the rest of this week. Tomorrow will be my last meeting with them. I wrote a letter to them both, and made graphic organizers for our lesson tomorrow. I’ll post pictures once they’re completed! But I’ve realized I love teaching! It’s so difficult to explain things in such a way that a sixth grader would understand, but it’s also so fun coming up with creative activities for them to do.

After dinner tonight, we watched a TedTalk, featuring William McDonough, an environmental architect who is also the author of Cradle to Cradle. McDonough talks about the importance of design in society and how design can influence and better the interest of everyone. We discussed as a group that although growth in society is initially thought of negatively (such as growth in a population or urban planning), the problems typically associated with growth are actually caused by design flaws. He quotes that, “Design is the signal of human intention”. Thus, every decision should try to benefit society in the long-run, rather than give short-term gratification.

This led to a discussion about what role government has and if that role is being fulfilled by our current political leaders. It’s a great question to ask, and I definitely will admit that I don’t know how to answer. I do think that leaders today have to lead with foresight first, but I admitted that I don’t think the most effective leaders have been a part of the government. Rather, the leaders that I have followed and have changed my perspective on things are my professors, my teachers, and my peers.

“The goal of charity is for it not to be needed.”