2018-03-26

By Laureanna Crump, Second Year Baton Rouge AmeriCorps member, proudly serving on the Irene W. and C. B. Pennington Foundation team at Kenilworth Science & Technology School. 

This video depicts my personal schedule serving as a Second Year AmeriCorps member in a 7th grade math class at Kenilworth Science & Technology School. My schedule differs from AmeriCorps members who serve in other schools at the Baton Rouge site and can even differ from the AmeriCorps members on my own team who serve in 6th and 8th grade classes.

You see a lot of screen time in this video because the students are using a program called ALEKS. ALEKS is predominantly used during math lab interventions. There are 413 topics for the 7th graders to complete, and the program tailors itself to the needs of students based on a series of knowledge checks and learned topics. The program detects when a student is consistently making mistakes on a skill. Therefore, I can have 5-7 students during lab and enrichment and be working on a different lesson with each student.

Considering what happens behind the scenes, the most pertinent pieces of advice I can offer future City Year AmeriCorps members are to:

1 - Be extremely flexible –

  1. Typically, each site has a Team Leader (TL), an Impact Manager (IM), and an Impact Director (ID). Our team, however, only has a TL, who is here daily, and an ID, who checks in with us. Considering the fact that our team has been without a manager since October 6, 2017, I like to think we are very stable, and we all have the best interest of our students in mind, so we’ve mastered the art of managing ourselves to a certain extent.
  2. Last year, I had a simple schedule that rarely ever changed until testing. This year, my school changed its bell schedule and incorporated intervention periods into the students’ schedules.

i. Mondays and Tuesdays, I have whole-class support for 2 periods, math lab for 3 periods, and enrichment.

ii. Wednesdays, I have whole-class support for 1 period, math lab for 5 periods, and staff meetings because students are dismissed early.

iii. Thursdays and Fridays, I have whole-class support for 3 periods, math lab for 2 periods, and enrichment.

The schedule changes based on the needs of my two partner teachers, City Year assignments, and/or requests from the Kenilworth staff and administration.

 

2 - Always remember what you pledged to do at the beginning of your service year, specifically:

“…TO CELEBRATE THE DIVERSITY OF PEOPLE, IDEAS AND CULTURES AROUND ME,

TO SERVE WITH AN OPEN HEART AND AN OPEN MIND,

TO BE QUICK TO HELP AND SLOW TO JUDGE,

TO DO MY BEST TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE LIVES OF OTHERS…”

You’re going to serve with a diverse group of individuals who may or may not be like-minded. You also may serve in a school where your students come from a different ethnic group, socioeconomic status, or were just raised by a different code than you. Therefore, it is imperative that you serve with an open heart and an open mind throughout the entirety of your service. City Year Baton Rouge prepares you to take the values of others into consideration before they even give you your team assignments. You can avoid many conflicts simply by taking the time to step back and realize that most of a person’s reactions are rooted in the values they find most important, their leadership style, or their dominant CLOVER or COMPASS trait. Even when you find yourself in unavoidable conflict, understanding a person’s rationale can make you better equipped for conflict resolution.

 

Unfortunately, I don’t think anyone can give you a concrete breakdown of the exact schedule you’ll have if you apply to City Year Baton Rouge. Just come in with an open mind; and in the words of my TL, Kelsey Lineburg, and the woman who I’ve had the pleasure of serving alongside for two years, “Be ready to work long hours and give it your all every day!”

 

For more information on City Year, please visit www.cityyear.org. To learn more about serving in Baton Rouge, check out this blog! Interested in joining City Year, apply today! The next application deadline is April 13.

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