Second Week Thoughts

In only a few short days with the kids at ACH Clear Pathways, I feel like part of the family. The students treat me as if I’ve been working there as long as anyone else. Even after just two hours on my first day, the kids acted like they’ve known me forever. At that age, it seems like you’re able to become best friends with someone within five minutes almost.

During my first week, I didn’t really get to help with the students homework. Now, when I walk into the cafeteria (where they work on homework, arts and crafts, etc.) one of the kids will run up to me and ask if I can help them with their work. I find myself surprised with how each student will figure out certain problems. Some of them can sit there and work quietly and ask me if they’re struggling with a particular question. Others will ask me what the answer is before they really even get a chance to look at it. That’s when I’ll tell them to look at it again and maybe give them a little hint. But you can sometimes tell whether they know it or not. Like when one of the other problems on the worksheet is very similar and they had no trouble answering it. That’s when I’ll remind them to think back to the knowledge they may be forgetting.

With the kids working on their assignments in the cafeteria, sometimes their peers, who may not have work of their own, can be a little distracting. You’ll have a student get sidetracked in between each problem and I might remind them that they should keep working so they can do whatever when they get back home. I figure it’s better to have them finish their work right after school then have to do it at home where there’s even more distractions.

It’s refreshing to see some of the work that the kids are focusing on in class. I enjoy reminiscing about when my assignments were something like that, even though it’s all relative and a grammar worksheet to them is equivalent to an essay for me. When I was helping some of them with their math worksheets I had to jog my memory on the different names of triangles and such. When it came to their long-division that they were working on, my brain was like an empty chalkboard. I hadn’t done that in so long that I probably knew as little as they did.

It’s definitely been productive and a lot of fun so far. Working and hanging out with those kids has been the most enjoyable part of some of my days for the past few weeks.

-Tommy Auchincloss

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