By Lauren Kross, AmeriCorps member
The most rewarding aspect of teaching Take Ten is spending time with the students each week. Their energy and excitement is infectious. No matter how I’m feeling, the students have a way of picking me up to feel my best. If I am having a bad day or just not feeling 100%, they cheer me up within the first five seconds of being at the school.
Sometimes I will see a student or two as I walk down the hall to the classroom. They greet me with huge smiles and hugs before telling the rest of the class that I have arrived. Then, there is a burst of excitement and movement. As I walk through the door, I am greeted by a classroom full of elementary school kids. These students make an ordinary girl like myself feel like a celebrity; a Take Ten superhero, teaching conflict resolution and violence prevention in fun, understandable ways.
Each week, the students participate in different activities to promote healthy conflict resolution skills and violence prevention. We implement art activities, interactive games, role playing, and stories to get all students participating. I really love that the Take Ten curriculum allows all students, regardless of interest, to get involved. The students may not enjoy every activity, but there will be some activities that they will absolutely love and request to do over and over again. Finding that activity is key to student learning.
The Take Ten lessons are more than extracurricular learning opportunities; these are lessons preparing students for life. The ideas instilled in the minds of these students are not just to help them resolve conflicts on the playground or in the classroom but lessons to help them throughout their life. I may not see the seeds of learning in which I’m planting, but I know that the lessons learned through Take Ten will impact my students for life.