As I walked through the building from 8:00-9:00, I couldn't help but grin listening to all the activity and noise I witnessed in every classroom. "This is AWESOME!" "We get to do this every Friday?!?" "I've never done this at school before!" Every student I encountered could not contain their enthusiasm as we had our first "e-time" (enrichment time) of the year.
Each grade level and class had unique ways of introducing what e-time is all about and what it means. The common theme that grabbed every students' attention was the fact that e-time is based on their choices and their interests. It's a time set aside from the usual school routine for students to pursue their passions and possibly discover new passions with the teacher acting as a guide. Today, we focused on getting to know each other's interests better and dipped our toes in the enrichment water with a variety of activities to see what ignites that spark. Some of the exploratory activities in different classrooms this morning included such topics as Legos, circuit boards, rocks and minerals, woodburning art, photography and performance arts. As I made my way around the building, I found myself torn between staying in one particular classroom because I was so interested in what they were doing and continuing my own exploration of what was happening in other classrooms around the school.
A sense of camaraderie began to emerge in many classrooms as students were finding out things about their classmates that they had never known before. "I didn't know you liked that too!" was heard quite frequently as students worked together brainstorming and sharing. Given the energy and excitement in our first e-time, I truly cannot wait to see where our students take us as we begin this journey together.
Kudos to all of our teachers for working so hard to make the first e-time so successful and engaging! I think our students are hooked and eagerly anticipating what lies ahead!