At Harpeth Hall, the all-girls independent school where I teach, the 3 weeks after winter break are called "Winterim." During this time, 9th and 10th graders get to take 4 classes offered by any faculty on a variety of topics. I am teaching playwriting, but there is also a class on the Kennedy family, African Drumming, a class about using tools, book binding, the films of Alfred Hitchcock...and the list goes on! To read more, click here. Meanwhile, the 11th and 12th graders are doing internships around the city or travelling abroad.
Can I say that it is magical? Does that sound silly? I was on maternity leave last year, so this is my first Winterim and I am having so much fun. I teach a class on playwriting to a small group of 4 students. I am writing along with them and tomorrow we share our first full drafts. It is thrilling and exciting. I can't wait.
My other Winterim duty is to supervise, visit, and observe some of the 11th and 12th graders who are interning. They write daily journals which I read and grade, I observe them, then I am responsible for their grade and comment for Winterim. I have interns in all sorts of places, at an animal hospital, a bakery, and at the local Teach for America office, to name a few. I have one student who is interning at WPLN, Nashville Public Radio. I got an email from her today that she has published her first article for them. You can read it here.
What an experience. She is a published writer, and she hasn't even graduated from high school. She had emailed me earlier this week that she had been sent out to gather audio. I am so proud of her.
Next week begin the first rounds of observations. I am excited to go see the students in action at the various sites.