At 8 a.m. corps member, Katie, is beaming with energy. “Good morning, have a terrific Tuesday!” she says. A small 2nd grader approaches her with pride and thrusts a hand-drawn picture of the solar system into her hands. He’s ordered the planets perfectly and even labeled them from one to nine. She smiles to herself at the small note he’s painstakingly added next to Pluto: “Not a planet.” Two weeks after her lesson, he still remembers everything! 

By Katie Muller, Corps Member 2012-2013

7:50 am My corps of seven and I circle as part of Horace Cureton Elementary School Team. We complete the readiness check to ensure we are all ready for a powerful day of service.

8:00 am The team strolls to the front to high five students as they arrive. “Good morning, have a terrific Tuesday!” Getting the kids excited to come learn never gets old.  One of the 2nd graders from my Planetary Observers Enrichment makes my day by handing me a picture he drew of the solar system.  The planets are in order, approximately to scale, labeled 1 through 9 and there is a note that says #9 (Pluto) is not a planet.  Two weeks after our Pluto Planet Debate and he still remembers!

8:25 am It’s time for morning rally. After reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and the Peace Builder’s Pledge, a corps member comes to the front to lead a song and dance number. Today it is Miss Molly’s turn and she does not disappoint with her rendition of “Boom Chicka Boom.”

9:00 am Time to start preparations for next week. Like every week, it’s a busy one! My list for things due Sunday morning is extensive, but if all this forethought helps raise my students closer to grade level, I’m more than happy.

11:00 am It is time to tutor my intensive group of third graders who have yet to master the first grade reading level.  Most students at Cureton speak Spanish at home, so reading in English without supported practice from family members is challenging. Today we learned about rhythm and its importance in reading. At the end of our 25-minute session, I test them to monitor whether they are closer to their mid-year fluency and comprehension mid-year goals. Good news! All of my students have made considerable progress.

2:30 pm Time for the after school program. During literacy’s read aloud I narrate one of my favorite books to the class. Afterwards, the students complete activities encouraging phonics, grammar, and comprehension.

6:00 pm At the end of the after school program, a student tells me what she learned today. “In literacy, I learned that even if you have a disagreement with a friend, you can still fix things up and be great friends afterwards.” All in a day’s work.

6:30 pm Once the last student is picked up, closing circle begins where we all debrief the day. Time for some rest…tomorrow is going to be another busy one!