2014-02-25

By Peter Gilman, Corps Member, Sony Team at John Liechty Middle School

I proudly serve on the Sony Team at John Liechty Middle School in the heart of Pico Union, just west of downtown Los Angeles. Serving at one of City Year’s founding school partners in Los Angeles, our team is privileged to take advantage of the seven-year legacy that City Year corps members before us have built. We feel it is our team’s duty to uphold the City Year name and the longstanding support we continue to provide to their students. The service we provide our students is only possible through partnerships that are affirmed with the school community, especially teachers.

My teammate, Allyson Fierro, works in two 6th grade classrooms providing her students with extra support for social-emotional learning, and to tutoring them in math and English. To ensure the success of her students, she frequently sits down with her partner teachers, Ms. Padilla and Mr. Juarez to discuss the progress of each student.

Allyson and her partner teachers have open conversations about everything from classroom expectations to goals for their students. They also regularly have lunch together to debrief on how class is coming along, and how the students are progressing as they go between Ms. Padilla for math and science, and Mr. Juarez for English and history. The strong alliance Allyson has developed with her partner teachers provides for a stronger support system for the students she works with.

When Allyson reflects on the impact they made together, she immediately thinks about her student Diane. Last September Diane was struggling to motivate herself, and challenged by the coursework in several subjects. Allyson and her partner teachers worked hard to reinforce any efforts they saw from Diane, and when she began to improve, they rewarded her with more opportunities to assist other students.  Diane’s comprehension improved, while in turn aiding Allyson and her teachers’ combined efforts with other students in the classroom. As a result, Diane is growing more and more, regularly completing assignments in math, and making bold new efforts to participate in English. The combined efforts of Mr. Juarez, Ms. Padilla, and Allyson showed Diane she had the potential to be the best version of herself.

The success of our service is heavily based on the strong partnerships developed with teachers like Ms. Padilla and Mr. Juarez. Our team is grateful for the opportunity to foster and develop these relationships, as it allows us to make a true impact on the students we serve.

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