Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I know what I'm doing this summer

I have a summer job! A teaching job! And I know that seems ironic or even funny from a woman who is counting down the days of the regular school year, BUT... there is always a BUT, but this is really different.

I'll be teaching at a prison school. well, that's a little harsh. There is a residential facility for kids who are court ordered there, as a foster placement, or as a day school for some kids who can't function in a public school. It's a type of "jail" without bars for juvenile offenders.

Because it's a residential facility the kids are required to take classes all summer long- no unaccounted for or unstructured time so they offer academic classes for kids who need them (like if they failed history, for example, then they have to re-take the history. Same with English, science, etc...) and then for all the other kids, they have fun programs. I get to teach the FUN stuff because they let their regular faculty teach the academics.

I get to design my very own classes! I can teach anything I want! I get a supplies reimbursement for $7 per child. I can teach 2 classes each day.

I'll only have 10-14 kids per class. The classes are gender segregated, either all boys or all girls. They wear uniforms. There are not grades; the kids just earn points toward special privileges.

There are 4 summer sessions (called modules). During each module I'm going to teach 2 different classes, a morning one and an afternoon one. The morning class is from 9-11am. The afternoon class is from 1230-230pm. That's merely 4 hours a day. Each module runs for 10 days. I can teach just 1 or 2 or 3 or all 4. I also get paid $56 (hello, $14 per hour!) per day and the school provides me a free lunch! I'll have my own classroom each 10 days, the same one in the morning and afternoon so I can decorate bulletin boards and the like if I want! Also, because these are supposed to be fun, there is no homework to assign; homework is DISCOURAGED.

I'm kicking around the following ideas for my classes:

1) School of Rock (class title)
I would pick one genre of music a day to focus on. At the beginning of each day I would play a sample of the music and let the kids journal for about 10 minutes. Then I would do a very brief 20 minute lecture on the genre. Then the last 90 minutes I would have a variety of activities, group and individual, that revolves around the music of the day. I could not only play the music but videos as well. On days 8 and 9 would be the topic 'music in film' and the last day would be a presentation by each student with music of their choice. I also thought I could give them a list of what the genre was and encourage them to bring in a sample and play those as well.

2) Read it, See it!
Example: Monday: read a piece of literature and do activities with it, then on Tuesday, watch the companion film in its entirety (like Of Mice and Men or To Kill a Mockingbird). Do this with 5 books

3) Film 101
Teach basic skills on how to "watch" a movie like history of film, canted camera angles, use of light and shadows and music in film, etc. then show examples of each, and do activities.

I have a bunch of other ideas, too. I was thinking of a creative writing class but someone else is already doing that. But it all sounds like such fun!!! I think I want to do School of Rock and Film 101.

It is just nice to think of being back in the classroom where I get to be in charge! Again, not a bad gig for summer work at all!!

Finally, good news!
Maggie Mae, teacher


Curley said...

That's great! And the money isn't anything to kick at either. Congrats! I think we should celebrate with a movie.

Anonymous said...

you go girl.. you will rock.. wonderful ideas

sam said...

Hi MM,

Wow, what a relief! Any chance it could become permanent? Hope so if that's what you want.

Great idea you have..


Bragger said...

This sounds like it is soooooooooooooooo right up your alley. You're creative, and it seems to me that you relate to those kids so well. They will be lucky to have you. It almost sounds like being a camp counselor - only you don't have to worry about them slipping out at night. Not that I ever did THAT.....

Maggie said...

Curley- thank you! And a movie sounds great! Can I be your date? :)

TaDa- thank you!

sam/P- I asked if it could be something permanent and he said no, that all their full time positions for next year were full so unless something happens to one of those people, it's just a summer gig.

Bragger- oh, now I like the idea of thinking of it as camp rather than a jail for kids. And if they slip out and it's during my class... well, I wonder if that means I'd be fired? Seriously, I wonder if I should ask that!

Wiley said...

Woohoo!! Totally awesome news! I am so happy for you. And I'll be really interested to hear about your experiences with the kids.

Can I enroll in the school of rock course? Funny, but just a couple of days ago DM was complaining about the radio stations here and said he wanted to become a teacher and teach a history of rock music course. Great minds :)