Natalie Bertinelli is a 6th grade math and science teacher at John Muir Middle School in South L.A.
How would you describe the typical City Year AmeriCorps member? Friendly, caring, dedicated and willing to stop at nothing to get the job done. They are motivated to do whatever it takes to help our students, and I really appreciate that.
How does City Year help build a positive school culture and climate? By being role models that students can follow as well as establishing lasting connections and relationships with students. They inspire students to achieve through the use of positive behaviors and positive reinforcements.
How do teachers and corps members collaborate in the classroom? We communicate about lessons that will be taught, best methods to teach, tips, and tricks on how to better deliver and scaffold instruction. It helps the students because it allows for multiple perspectives to be shared and multiple methods or strategies to deliver the content.
How does having City Year in a student's life make a difference? It gives them this positive role model that they can form a lasting relationship with. They can come to you all and ask you anything. You are more of a mentor to them, so they feel more open to talk to and ask you any questions and they won’t feel shut down. For example, in class students always raise their hands. When I walk over to them they tell me “no” and turn around and ask for my City Year.
What is your favorite piece of City Year culture? I love ‘morning greeting’ because it sets up the day on an ultimate high! The students are pumped and it’s positive. I feel like John Muir needs more positivity and I think that having that early in the morning it just great!