Ms. Kramer is a 9th Grade English teacher working alongside our team at Locke College Prepatory Academy. She sat down with one of our Americorps members, Chloe Wolfe, to share some thoughts on City Year at Locke.
Q: What will be the legacy for the 2015-2016 City Year team serving at Locke?
A: What City Year will leave behind after this year is unmeasurable by any document or data report. It can, however, be measured by how many kids leave this campus believing that they are worth someone’s time and effort. I know that without City Year on our campus this number would be less than what we could do on our own.
Q: How does having a City Year mentor in a student's life make a difference?
A: Having a City Year mentor is, in my opinion, like having a big brother or sister who can guide a student to success both in academics and in life. Most kids see our AmeriCorps members as role models, and not just because they are adults with college degrees. When a kid sees an AmeriCorps member being silly or genuine it communicates the message that no matter what the most important thing you can do is be yourself.
Q: How do teachers and City Year Americorps members collaborate in the classroom?
A: My number one goal has always been to build a classroom culture that is safe and exciting for students. Having an AmeriCorps member in the room with me reaching for that goal has been an integral part in my success this year. Together we build relationships with the students that will help open up the gates between students and staff. In a more academic sense, I encourage my AmeriCorps members to lead and create small group tasks during student pullouts that are engaging and more beneficial in a small group setting.
Q: What is your favorite thing about City Year?
A: The yellow banana jackets! In all seriousness though, I love the energy they bring to my campus. It’s impossible to be in a bad mood when there are adults dancing and singing around the halls.
Q: How does having City Year on the school campus affect the school environment?
A: ENERGY. ENERGY. ENERGY. Seeing their smiles in the morning prior to school really hypes the kids up for the school day. Even the kids who are too cool to join in can’t help but smile when they see an AmeriCorps member doing a chant! I also love that our AmeriCorps members go out during lunch and interact with our students. Sometimes we are the first and last smile these kids see during the day. I respect the fact that our Locke AmeriCorps members can help us out with that very daunting task.
Q: What message would you like to leave for the team?
A: I just hope all the AmeriCorps members serving at Locke know: “Once they’re a Saint, They’re ALWAYS a Saint!”