The Master: Making Kids Heroes

As a rookie teacher, I knew I was observing something extraordinary—even magical. Every first grader was fully engaged whether working in small groups or by themselves. Some were experimenting with math manipulatives, others were designing and building structures, and another group was playing an alphabet and word game. The teacher, my Aunt Connie, was surveying the class, then answered a question from a student, and then joined five students for a lesson.

Off to the side of the room, I noticed a student “reading” the NY Times. 

“A six year old, c’mon?” I followed my curiosity and walked over. I asked what article he was reading. He eagerly explained it in detail. He was accurate. I smiled, thanked him, and returned to observing in a delightful mood. 

A hum penetrated my senses—one where kids are being happily productive. I’ve noticed that hum on many other classrooms I have visited. In the early grades it’s the human version of purring kittens. 

The long drive home allowed me to reflect on the day’s events. My aunt was introducing school and academics to these little ones where reading, writing, and math were some of the “funnest” to do. Her recipe was filled with curiosity and imagination, independence and respect. the result was a classroom was filled with adventure, and mystery, and wonder!

Thank You, Aunt Connie! I hope Explorer Games: Tools for Your Adventure on our home page at meets with your approval. This version of making kids heroes is for at-risk high school students.

And if you, the reader, are a teacher, mentor, coach, or parent of teenagers, this blog will be offering tools that have worked for over 2,000 students to re-engage them into loving learning. You can drop me a line at for weekly updates.

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