I haven't blogged about my latest job, mostly, I think, because I've been so busy doing it. I got hired at the end of September to teach jewelry design at a local middle school in Providence. I still can't believe that I am being paid to do something that I love so incredibly much. My company just posted a blog with some interviews with the kids I've been teaching, and I'm too excited about it not to share:
This class is the coolest class ever! I have twelve students, all girls between the ages of 10 and 13. We make jewelry, discuss why people wear jewelry, and are having a huge jewelry sale in December to sell the projects we've been working on. The first day of class was nerve racking, to say the least, since I had little to no experience with kids, none in the classroom, and no formal training as a jewelry designer. I have to say, though, that being in front of a classroom has come so naturally to me! I know the kids love me, and I absolutely love them. I'll be so bummed when the class is over, but I'm hoping to stay in contact with my students afterwards.
What I love is that I know that this class is having an impact on the lives of these girls. I send them home with beads as much as possible (the homework assignments mentioned on the VIPS page), and I try as much as possible to get them thinking about possibilities. My friend Kat is a nineteen-year-old jewelry designer who has been selling her own work since she was nine, so I had her come to class to talk about her experiences, and, I hope, to inspire my students to become mini-entrepreneurs.
The girls have blossomed in the last month. Some who started out really shy are talking more and seem much more confident in themselves. I do my best to make sure that I give every student personal attention, and I've had their names memorized since day one. I greet them by name every day, and if a student missed class, I tell her we missed her! I love remembering something they told me in a previous class and their delight when I ask them about it later. For instance, one of the girls told me she'd be missing class for her birthday, and when she came back, the first thing I asked her was "How was your birthday?"
Last week, we had a halloween bead party, since Halloween was one of our class days, and I brought in orange and black beads and candy to share. It is amazing when this rowdy bunch gets so absorbed in their projects that the room is silent, so sometimes I bring in a radio for music, which is their reward for listening and sitting still.
I love having an excuse to make and wear pretty jewelry, and I love it even more that the girls always ask about the jewelry I am wearing. We only have a month left, and I am going to be so bummed when this class is over!
On another note, I received a call last week from a woman who runs a similiar after-school program at a local high school, and I have an interview there tomorrow concerning that. How cool is that? They called me!
Providence is definitely where I am meant to be, and don't be suprised if I end up hanging around her for a while. My lease is up at the end of December, but the woman whose apartment I am subletting hasn't been heard from in months. If she hasn't contacted my roomie (who is AWESOME!) and I by Thanksgiving, we're going to be able to stay in the same place for another six months (maybe longer!). If she does come back, I'm already looking for apartments in the same neighborhood. Cross your fingers for me!
I'll write more about my classroom experiences soon, but for now, enjoy the kids' interviews posted on the VIPS (Volunteers In Providence Schools) website:
Ahh, look, my students!
(Haha, Miss Moira! That's me!)
Delightful post... thanks for brightening my day, Moria.Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at November 8, 2007 8:24 PM
Incredibly awesome. When you told me about it on the phone I thought you were going to burst! This is obviously one of those things that is an all-giving situation--you give attention, time, patience, and love to your students and they give you joy, pride, and love in return. I hope your interview with the high school goes well :) Maybe deep down you're a teacher...Posted by: Karissa at November 8, 2007 11:23 PM