Today's blog comes from Communication Coordinator Crystal Haney and spotlights Molly Laubernds: a first year AmeriCorps Member serving at North Shore Elementary School, whose program is sponsored by THE PLAYERS Championship. Molly works with a group of 5th grade students in their math and science classes, partnering closely with two different teachers. Molly's partnership with both teachers is an example of what all City Year AmeriCorps Members and their partner teachers strive for: a professional relationship built on mutual respect, collaboration and putting the students first. Crystal had a chance to interview both Molly and her teachers about their working relationship. Read on for a glimpse into their thriving partnership.
Molly, what classes do you support at North Shore Elementary School?
I originally started out supporting Mr. Park's 5th grade math class, but roughly a month into the school year I was added to support one science block with Mr.Goben as well. Every day, I start with one science block with Mr. Goben and transition to two math blocks with Mr. Parks. It definitely keeps things interesting and is really nice to be able to see students through both classes and work with them as they change in different courses and class periods.
Molly, what do you appreciate most about your partner teachers?
Honestly, my time spent in the classrooms with both Mr. Parks and Mr. Goben is extremely positive. Their leadership and willingness to share their space makes the experience 100 times easier as a new college graduate walking into a new experience. Both teachers have made it extremely clear to the students that it is OUR classroom not just their classroom with me as a year-long visitor. The respect that both teachers show for me really translates to how the students react to my presence within the classroom. I am very grateful for their leadership, patience, and guidance.
What do you appreciate about your partnership with your City Year AmeriCorps Member?
Mr. Parks: I can depend on Molly to show up every day and give her all to every student.
Mr. Goben: Having another [adult] in the room is a tremendous help, I have enjoyed having another set of eyes in the room. Molly provides insight and feedback for the students and myself. To me, the positivity and the student relationships are the most beneficial. We work well as a team and the impact is apparent every day!
Why are you grateful for your City Year AmeriCorps Member?
Mr.Parks: Molly's knowledge of the content area allows me to spend more time in small groups. Her ability to plan and teach effective [tutoring sessions] that build on students background knowledge helps to improve the learning experience of all students.
Mr. Goben: I am grateful for Molly for several reasons. One of those reasons is her ability to develop relationships with the students, who in turn really enjoy working with her. She puts in a lot of effort and time to make sure she is providing those students a meaningful and educational experience. Molly is very flexible and willing to help with anything that is needed. She assists with student behavior and [class] work. Her greatest impact is felt during center time where she is the "Hands On" leader. She gets those students working on the mini labs and they love it. I wish Molly could help with science all day, but I know she is making a great impact with these students in math as well.
Molly, what have you learned from working with your partner teachers, Mr. Parks & Mr. Goben?
I admire Mr. Goben's teaching style because he is always organized and makes the science classes very dynamic.The students are constantly engaged due to his creative teaching techniques and hands on science experiments. In his classroom, the students are able to work with different materials on various experiments that will benefit them as they transition into higher grade levels. His positive personality and kind hearted nature really makes a positive impact on the students. I wholeheartedly believe that Mr. Goben is setting up the students to not only be better learners but also better people.
I admire Mr. Parks for numerous reasons, he is the perfect combination of stern yet friendly, calm yet enthusiastic, and awesome all thrown into one person. I appreciate Mr. Parks for his constant encouragement, his belief in my tutoring styles, and for always making sure that I receive the same respect in the classroom that the students show him. It is also amazing to see just how much he is able to connect to the students and not only act as a stupendous teacher but also as a positive role model in their lives. Mr. Parks is always thoroughly prepared for class and does a fantastic job of incorporating math into everyday situations that the students can relate to. I truly believe that the lessons that he teaches to his students go beyond 5th grade math standards and carry over into molding the students into better people. In class, he constantly reminds the students how their actions and how they treat people is just as important as improving grades and learning the coursework.
I feel truly blessed and fortunate to work with such great individuals who not only improve my life but also improve the lives of all of the students in the fifth grade at North Shore Elementary each and every day. I want to personally thank them for their countless hours of patience and hard work both in and out of the classroom.