The first day of school. Crazy but fun.
Midmorning I went onto the playground during recess and shot baskets with 2nd graders. Mostly I rebounded and tried to teach them to cut toward the basket so I could feed them the ball. Even that basic concept took some coaching and coaxing, but there’s some potential ballers there.
I waited until afternoon before venturing into the school. I don’t want to interrupt too early as the teachers build a routine and relationships. I’m trying to learn the new students’ names, as well as remember all our returning students. Some have grown and changed a lot even since May. Some of the younger crowd recognized me from the visit to their home yesterday, which at least sparked a bit of recognition and familiarity.
In the 2nd grade classroom, I went around the room and asked them to tell me their name and favorite dessert, which was a fun ice breaker. We might have to work on teaching food categories and the basic food groups, since besides ice cream and chocolate chip cookies I also heard “biscuits and gravy.”
This morning, Central Receiving was crawling with houseparents, gathering up clothes that their children will need. When our students arrive, all their clothes are cataloged so we know what they have. Some students have very little and the houseparents were even looking for basics like socks and underwear. Over the summer, many generous folks sent in or dropped off many new or gently used clothing items and they are quickly getting into the dressers of the Lakota kids who need them. This year, we seem to have an abundance of clothes for the girls, but a shortage of items for the boys. We do keep an updated list of needed items on our website. Find St. Joseph’s Indian School’s needs list here!
I reviewed the High School driving handbook. We’ve been finding that after students graduate, they don’t have a realistic sense of how to budget for insurance, replacement parts and repairs. We are trying some new procedures to help students understand the costs for operating a car and want to teach them to do more of the basic maintenance.
I ate supper in the Fisher Home (6th-8th grade boys). They have 9 of 12 back from last year and the 3 new 6th graders have all been at St. Joseph’s for several years. Since I already know all the guys there, I knew visiting Fisher wouldn’t cause too much commotion.