Reflections So Far


I recently published my philosophy regarding education in which I highlight reflection as a regular practice. Just after publishing, I started a new job as an assistant teacher in a Lego brick-building program so I thought I should reflect.


I’ve had the pleasure of working with two different teachers so far. The first has been with this company for quite a while working part time. She also has a background in special education. With her, my experience was much more like co-teaching than assisting. I felt comfortable jumping in and offering ideas. I was able to help with transitions, building partners, and organization. I’m also working with the owner of the franchise. He’s been doing this for nearly ten years so he doesn’t “need” as much assistance, and I don’t feel as comfortable offering advice. I do what I can to support the routines he has in place.

Week 1 with Ms. J

I really enjoyed my first full week at my new job. Like I said before, I felt very comfortable and welcome— so much so that it really felt like co-teaching instead of lead and assistant. There were plenty of times I was able to chime in or clarify things for the campers. If I noticed something important, or a lot of the kids were having the same question, I felt comfortable speaking up and talking to the whole class at once. I helped review the rules while Ms. J passed out kits so that there was as little down time as possible. Kids always need to *do something* so I wanted to make sure there was something productive available. I was even able to introduce a procedure to transition from our build to our craft.

A procedure of my creation

First, a little background. The kids work in pairs to do motorized Lego builds. There is a little booklet of instructions, and both builders need to be ready before a page can be flipped. This encourages them to work together and help each other out. To continue this accountability and confirm things are put away correctly, campers had to bring me their build kit for approval before moving on to their craft. This won’t always be an option since formats vary, but it’s a contribution I made that I’d like to remember.


There are only a few RULES for the classes with the most important one being respect. Respect each other, the teacher, and the equipment; Use good manners; Listen and follow directions; Everyone cleans; and Stay in sight of a teacher. The kids’ ages range from 5 to 12 years old, and some days I feel like they have no idea what respect is. For the teacher I’ve been working with this week, respect is focused on being quiet while he is talking and being careful with the equipment. I know that respect is a pretty broad subject so I need to choose which kinds of respect to focus on. I think those two mentioned above are pretty important, but a lot of these kids lack respect for others when it comes to personal space. These camps have been mostly boys, and boys can be a little more physical. In future I think when I talk about respect, I will also talk about keeping our hands to ourselves. Again, this is a huge topic and something to be taught, but in a summer camp/after school program, I’m going to have to pick and choose.


I’ve been reading and writing a lot about procedures lately, and they even come into play in a program like this. The build booklets provide a visual procedure to follow. Builders are supposed to wait for their partner to flip the page. That’s another procedure. Ms. J had a hand raising procedure for if a kiddo needed help (raise hand) or a part (put hand on head). It was so she could help those with a part need quickly and spend more time with those who needed build help. Mr. K allows/encourages campers to add on to or change their builds once they’ve followed the initial directions. It’s not exactly a procedure, but it is part of his routine. It’s something that he wants the kids to *do.* I will continue to watch and see what works so that I can come up with my own procedures or adaptations of good ones.


What do you think of the rules and procedures I’ve mentioned? Do they seem reasonable? Do you have any suggestions? Please leave a comment below to let me know what you think.



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