By Akida Azad
City Year Jacksonville ’16
Tutoring and teamwork are two key components to City Year. As a City Year AmeriCorps member, we serve as tutors in hundreds of schools across the United States. But what does tutoring actually look like at City Year?
Most of my day was spent in the eighth-grade classroom at Eugene J. Butler Middle School in Jacksonville, Florida. I began each day planning lessons and meeting with my partner teacher, whose students my teammate and I tutored and mentored all year. My partner teacher and I worked together to identify students who needed additional support and tutoring in math, and my teammate worked with our partner teacher to identify students who needed additional support and tutoring in English Language Arts (ELA). We assessed student progress in these subjects by viewing test grades and observing who was falling behind or struggling during class. This group of students is called a focus list, and I'd prioritize supporting these individuals in math. In addition to prioritizing my focus list students, I worked with other students who needed extra support in math, which gave me the opportunity to work with and get to know every eighth-grade student at my school.
I always approached every aspect of my work from a place of care. I constantly let my students know that I genuinely cared about them and wanted them to achieve their goals. I worked to build their trust by consistently being there when they needed me the most.
In addition to tutoring, my teammates and I all had different roles and responsibilities to help the team best prepare to support our students all year. As the math coordinator on my team, I was responsible for providing math tutoring resources for my teammates to utilize throughout the year. I developed lesson plans that correlated with a student's skill level to ensure every student received support they needed in math. For example, if students were having a difficult time grasping the Pythagorean theorem, I developed lesson plans around plugging numbers into those formulas. My teammates, impact manager, and partner teacher were all really helpful with finding resources that best fit our student's need.