NorthStar is more than I expected!

This week was my first week teaching The Internet of Things +Local Food Systems at NorthStar Academy.  Here is their program description:

NorthStar programming is intended to provide additional academic, athletic and social opportunities for student success. NorthStar serves boys in grades 3 – 8 through an open enrollment process.  

I was nervous to get started.  Momma and I spent the better part of three days redesigning the curriculum when I was in tears over it late last week.  Her 33 years of teaching expertise provided the much needed bench strength for me to gain comfort in knowing and managing the content.  I was still apprehensive as I as my audience entered the classroom at 9 am on Monday morning. It was their first day of summer school, or “programming” and  I assumed my teaching experience in inner city LA would help relate to these learners. Little did I realize that the 30 years that has past (Yes, it has been 30 years!  That’s another blog entry.) had created an entirely different learner audience. These “rising 7th graders” are a tough audience, I left the first day disappointed, exhausted and forlorn.  After gaining counsel from our Head of Operations and CEO, Susan and Nancy, I felt more prepared to return to the class for Day 2. They encouraged me to work on trust in the learners, create experiences that help them see that I care.  Forget about the content of the Internet of Things or Local Food Systems, let them know I care. Today, I just completed Day 3 and have honed my expectations to be more realistic but am still learning the steps to this different tap dance I continue to modify from my days teaching PreK in Watts.