Each semester, Project MARS/AmeriCorps collects “Great Stories,” in which its members reflect on their experiences mentoring in the classroom and the progress they see students making. This month’s story comes from Emily Davis.
I recently began joining a kindergarten class during centers time, an unstructured playtime for students to interact and have fun. Their teacher asked me to focus on two particular students from the same home. They have more challenges in learning, communicating, and socializing than their classmates, and are still adjusting to classroom expectations. I often see them in arts classes and they were excited to have me join them. They are both quiet during class, so it’s nice interacting with them more freely in centers. I try to incorporate colors and numbers into our play, and encourage them to include their classmates. Yesterday, we made necklaces together, and they were happy to name the colors of the beads they chose. They chatted about favorite colors and pets, and asked me about my own. It was the most conversation I’ve had with them, and a big change from our first interactions. It was rewarding to see this curious, social side of them. I’m excited to see them continue to grow.