The first full week of my Turner Fellowship was full of nerves and excitement. The loving staff made it easy for me to begin and the atmosphere truly feels like a family. This past week mainly consisted of doing office work for my supervisor and hanging out with the kids which allowed me to get a taste of every role at Fannie Battle.
My first day I worked with my supervisor and at the end of the day I was outside with the pre-school aged kids while they were playing outside. This allowed me to meet some of the kids that I would get to know more later in the week.
My second day I joined the infant/toddler room and met many new friends including: Silas, Julius, Kate, J’ael, Joe’l and Jo Jo. These kids were no older than 16 months, so it was an interesting experience to say the least. As we played on the carpet with many toys, I was able to teach them the word ‘ball’ which resulted in them repeating this word constantly all day long. Not only was this day full of learning on my end, I believe that I was able to teach these young kids a little in return. At the end of the day I realized that after just one day I had already made an impact on the classroom when after saying bye to Silas he, in return, gave me two hugs. These two hugs had an huge impact on me and caused me to feel as if I had a big influence in such a short period of time.
My third day I was in the “Sunbeams” classroom with kids whose ages varied from 1-2 years. This day I made even more friends including: Aiden, Wells, Casey, Aubrei, Maddie, King and Remi. I hung out with these kids all day and I grew very close to them. Even though I had one kid wanting me to hold him constantly and three kids in my lap at the same time while reading a book for the majority of the day, I can happily say this was one of my favorite classrooms.
The forth day I ran errands with my supervisor for the majority of the day. We went ALL over Nashville bearing gifts to some of the sponsors and restaurants who participated in one of Fannie Battle’s fundraisers, YUM!East. This day allowed me to grow closer to my supervisor and I feel we have a great relationship. After this I went back to the Sunbeams classroom and was able to be with the friends I met the day before. I was a bit surprised when the kids remembered me, especially Silas and Julius from my second day who recently transitioned into Sunbeams.
My fifth day I ran a Summer Reading Book Fair where the kids who wrote down all of the books they have read could earn tickets to pick out certain toys. This was a bit hectic because they all wanted the same toys, but in the end it all worked out. After this I joined the School Age kids who are the most advanced of all the children at Fannie Battle. I was more than nervous before joining this classroom because I had not been with kids this old before. By midday I had already gained new friends including: Joshua, Mika, Keon, Gary, Annalise and Rowan. We played many games and then we went to the auditorium to see this science guy who showed them a lot of cool things. Even though the kids were around 8 years old, they still tried to sit in my lap :). This day turned out to be the most fun because with kids this age I was able to have real conversations and play real games, which was refreshing.
Needless to say, my first week at Fannie Battle Day Home for Children was amazing. I met new friends and grew closer to the staff. I know that I will be with these kids for the rest of the summer and I could not be happier knowing this. I am super stoked to work here because if the whole journey is anything like the first week, I know it will be life changing!