The past few weeks, I have been working with two girls in particular. I worked with them for the first time on a debate they were doing in class, and I could tell that we clicked immediately. I felt like I could really relate to the girls, and they seemed to have a good time working on their debate as well as just generally talking about anything else with me. It has been nice to work with these two girls week-to-week to get to know them better.

Something I found out quickly after working with them was that they get very easily distracted and don’t like sitting for long periods of time while doing homework. Seeing that they were starting to disengage after a while, I asked them if they wanted to walk around the school and talk about their assignment. I brought their worksheet with me and asked them the questions out loud, and we discussed the answers as we walked. They really liked doing this and didn’t even realize that we were answering all the questions as we walked – it seemed so informal and not “school-like.” After taking a lap around the building, we sat down, and they filled out the worksheet with the answers they had given me as we walked. I was impressed by how much they had to say about the topic, and I was amazed how simply changing up the environment can result in a dramatic increase in student interest and productivity. Ever since then, we have gone on “homework walks” every Tuesday and Thursday around the building, and they still seem to really enjoy it!

Contributed by Lauren Cavers