Saturday, March 31, 2007

A Great Team of Mentor-Mentee's at McKinley Elementary in Sioux City

After a great morning in two school buildings in Sioux City, lunch at Green Gables restaurant, we ended our Siouxland tour at McKinley Elementary in Sioux City.

SCEA leader, 5th grade teacher and Mentor Kris Flewelling (seated at left) arranged for us to have the chance to hear more about Sioux City Community Schools Mentoring program for 1st and 2nd year teachers.

First year 5th grade teacher TaRae Evans (at right) joined us for an informal conversation around the "highs" and "challenges" for a new person to the profession.

Some of the struggles for 1st and 2nd year teachers include additional paperwork, how to implement district assessments, having the computer skills (and time to enter data) with the district "O" drive, having to share teacher's manuals as well as finding time to collaborate with her Mentor, Kris. It really seems overwhelming, doesn't it?! Thank goodness both Kris and TaRae are in the same building (doesn't always happen!). A definite "high" for TaRae is she has only 17 students in her homeroom!

I had the chance to read-aloud to 2nd grade homeroom of Deb Condon. Deb and her 2nd graders are pictured here (on left) after having been such a great audience for Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type.

Our final classroom visit took us to Kris Flewelling's 5th grade homeroom. The students enjoyed sharing their favorite baseball teams (as did Kris) as we prepared to sing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" then listen to the poem "Casey at the Bat". Again, I found yet another group of youngsters that were surprised with the ending!

Emily Mellott, a Senior at Sioux City East High, is pictured here with 5th grade teacher Kris Flewelling. Emily has been a student assistant for the 2nd year in a row in Kris' 5th grade room. She spoke of the interest in starting a "Future Teacher's Club" at her high school. It was great that we had Sioux City EA president along as Donna Walsh took note!

Thank you Siouxland UniServ Unit for an awesome tour of your locals and school buildings! You continue to amaze me with your energy in the classroom and passion for building Team ISEA!

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