(Day 1) – For those that are new to this thread, the Unwrapping Christmas is a challenge that we have given to ourselves in which we will share new stories about Providence School of Arts as a way of “Rejoicing in the Lord always.” (Phil 4:4) Here’s day 1.
A Big Responsibility
Let’s just get this out into the open, schools have a BIG responsibility. We have to help students develop essential skills that are necessary for future learning and their ability to function successfully in society as an adult. What happens in the classroom has a direct impact on basically…..everything. If this is a weight that is felt by schools with history and a great track record, you can imagine the pressure that exists for a new school.
One day, I was teaching the kids their dance class and I was giving them a “correction” on how they improve upon their class work. As I was speaking one of the students, Celeste, asked me, “Does your shirt say Dance?” Of course, I was in teacher mode and my immediate response was to remind them that if they had any questions they should raise their hands. But as class continued, I began to realize how important that moment was. Celeste came to us without the necessary skills for reading and had just now read a word on my shirt. So I had to ask, “Did you just read my shirt?” They all chuckled.
I also think of the moment when Celeste finished her leveled reader and realized that she could read. “I am smart!” she said. We were so proud of her and so amazed by that moment that I had to take a picture so that we would not forget the importance and impact of what we are doing.
These stories are an example of what I am extremely thankful for, the students are learning and are learning a lot. From our initial assessment to our mid-year assessment in English and Math, the students have improved by %100. In other words, students have completed almost a years worth of material in a semester. I try not to think too far in the future but this sure does get me excited. I imagine our current and future IMPACT that Providence will make in the community. As I said before, helping kids develop necessary skills is our challenge and I am thankful to God and our supporters for helping us achieve what we have thus far.