Posts tagged emily
Posts tagged emily
Camp City Year begins in two days. Fun story: I was asked to change 7 of my 13 lesson plans—yesterday.
My friend Josh, who’s in charge of media for camps, captured my dismay on camera and sent it to me in meme form:
We were missing so many supplies that I had to make some drastic adjustments to my lessons. Painting is so when-I-actually-thought-we-would-have-supplies. Crayons are the new thing to use…in every single lesson plan. Ultimately, it’s probably better. Give even one small child a paintbrush and multiple colors of paint is a recipe for disaster, much less 20.
This past week has been entirely dedicated to camps. I worked after hours every day but Tuesday, and stayed at the City Year office past 10:30 PM on Thursday (the repercussions of which were not pretty). My theory was that I was already dead inside, so I might as well work.
I still need to send the K-2 teachers all of the adjustments I made. Finding the motivation to do still more work after spending 7 hours running between the Camps site and the City Year office, working frantically, non-stop is rough. But enough complaining! Let me tell you what’s going well!
My lesson plans are good. For the most part I’ve gotten really positive feedback. We have a ton of campers! I was concerned for a second but now we’re actually going to have to start turning people away who try to register Monday. Camps means a week off from my kids, which is MUCH needed after a very draining week.
Our decorations are fan-tizzle-tastic:
Did I mention our theme is Magic Metro Bus? (Get it? Like Magic School Bus except DC-themed and without copyright infringement):
And look at this hardworking corps (see all the boxes? yeah, those would be for my lesson plans):
Have a picture of the beautiful K-2 Lesson Coordinator team:
(credit for all these photos goes to Josh)
So yeah, that’s been what’s taken up the majority of my time the past few weeks. I wish I could post more, but even now I’m shirking responsibilities. Back to work I go!
Hi, I’m not Emily, I don’t know if she’s seen this ask yet, but I’m letting her know about it as we speak. For now, I’d direct you to another one of her posts [here] because I think she does an amazing job of explaining there. I’m sure she will edit this in the future, but I figured I’d get you a response as quickly as possible in the meantime. — Mei
Hey, it’s Emily. I’m keeping Mei’s original response, but let me expand. The things I write about on this blog reflect my personal experience in City Year, which will not be yours. For me, it is a combination of kids, administration, and all the additional roles and responsibilities I chose to take on. Across the board City Year is hard, and there’s no getting around that. It comes down to whether or not you think your struggle will be worth it when you realize that you have made an immeasurable difference in the lives of others.
I have been doing a lot recently. Actually I’ve been doing a lot since this year started. But at the moment I am focusing my energy on two things: Camp City Year and Big Buddy Little Buddy (BBLB).
I am the K-2 lessons coordinator for camp. I finished the final edits of all my lessons last week, and then for some reason volunteered to take on the additional responsibility of creating a detailed supply list (sent in on Saturday). I have been going to the CY office 3 times a week (and this week I went in on Saturday, too). This coming week, I will spend even more time at the office.
The second BBLB meeting was on Wednesday. It was a struggle for several reasons. One issue was a lack of books. I foolishly put off getting books until Monday when I realized it was too late to get books to arrive by Wednesday. I was saved by the discovery of 50 copies of Jamie O’Rourke and the Big Potato in Winston’s library. Since the school is closing anyway, I figured no one would miss 23 copies.
The second issue was that because the DC CAS (the big standardized test for DC) is rapidly approaching, Winston has decided to do something called the “DC CAS Blitz.” It has flipped everyone’s schedule in grades 2-8 upside down. Most of the day is now spent in small groups, reviewing for the test. On Wednesday, sixth grade recess was at 1:40—the time their teachers said I could pull the Big Buddies. Many students whined and two straight up refused to go. All the students who went were glad they did (and they still got a bit of recess).
But I should talk about the positive. The meeting went so well. My kids who struggle with behavior were being exceptionally good. The Big Buddies turned out to be fantastic teachers. They were asking comprehension questions and engaging their Little Buddies. It was wonderful to watch.
I majorly messed up and once again failed to order books for this week. I’ll work it out, and it’ll be okay, but I just wish I could have learned from last week and done something differently. I’m going to make inkinding calls tomorrow and then order books for next week.
Those are the big updates for now. Last week was tough, and I had to take Friday off. This week will hopefully be better. Thursday and Friday are LDC days and I’m going to go down to the beach this weekend. I’m trying to give myself something to look forward to at the end of each day to get me through.
Just over two months of City Year left, and only 40 more days with students!
Here is my love letter to DCPS:
You show me your failures on a daily basis. You are deeply flawed and make me mad. But on Tuesday, March 5th, 2013, you won my heart for at least a week by canceling school on Wednesday, March 6th, 2013. You didn’t even need to see the snow to know that WE ALL NEED THIS SNOW DAY OH MY GOD WE NEED IT so for that I am grateful.
I just finished writing the grant proposal for my Big Buddy Little Buddy program, so I figured now was an opportune time to tell you all about it!
Basically it is a literacy and behavior initiative that partners thirteen 6th graders with the first grade class. Each 6th grader (big buddy) would have two first graders (little buddies). Every Thursday from 2:30-3:00, the Big Buddies would come in and run “lessons” with the first graders. Each lesson would have a book with an important theme (friendship, health, respect, etc.), comprehension questions, and then prompts to tie the theme into real life. Here is a sample lesson plan I wrote:
Objective: Students will understand what being a good friend is, and ways to be a good friend in their day-to-day lives.
Warm-Up: Roses and thorns. Students will say their favorite thing about school that week, and one thing they would like to change about the week. Big buddy will demonstrate first.
Book: The Little Red Hen
The behavior aspect of the program on the 6th grade side is to have students who could benefit from the responsibility of being in a position of leadership. They have a set of rules and expectations they are required to follow or they will be dismissed from the program. The hope is they will rise to the occasion and set a good example for their little buddies. The first graders will then hopefully have a positive middle school role model who makes reading seem “cool” as opposed to work.
The purpose of the grant is to have 26 copies of each book a week. This way, after the Big Buddy finishes reading the book to their little buddies, they can give them a copy of the book to take home. If all goes as planned, each student would accumulate a total of 10 books over 10 weeks.
I’m very nervous about the whole thing, but I’m trying to stay on top of things and not let this fall apart. The 6th graders are really into it, and I don’t want to let them down. What a struggle.
This will be a short post because I am forcing myself to update.
So Valentine’s Day at Winston actually kicked it. We had a fantastic dance. We combined the best behaved students in grades 1-8, which was a really successful experiment. The older kids did really well with the littler ones and everyone was dancing and just had an overall lovely time.
But since then, life has been a struggle. They say February is the hardest month of them all, and I sincerely hope that is the case—because this cannot keep up. Not only were my kids a disaster this week/month, my team was so snappy with each other yesterday.
This windowless, wall-less building is actually slowly draining me of every ounce of life I have. I took off from school today. I won’t have kids again until next Wednesday because of the LDC on Monday and Tuesday. At least I have this weekend.
I do a lot of things at Winston. These include (but are certainly not limited to):
But since that is just not enough for me, I also do:
Then there’s all the random stuff CY makes us do (i.e. 3 long CPR trainings online).
Recently, an e-mail was sent out asking for people to volunteer to be Transitional Mentors. The program would partner current corps members with two incoming corps members and help prepare them for the year ahead. It gives an opportunity for the incoming corps to get honest answers and not be quite so blind-sided when service begins.
But I’m not going to do it.
RIght now I have too many other things I need to do. I gave the presentation of my Big Buddy/Little Buddy program to the 6th grade nominees today. Next step is applying for a grant for 26 free books a week from March-May. (I realize I haven’t actually explained what BBLB is, so I’ll write that post next). I have four lesson plans due for camps tomorrow. I have weekly Camps meetings, weekly team meetings, bimonthly corps council meetings, and monthly service reserves trainings. Also, there is a big Valentine’s Day dance we’re holding tomorrow. Basically, I DON’T NEED ANYTHING ELSE TO DO.
So even though I want to apply, I deleted the e-mail (okay, fine, Jenna told me to do that part). I don’t want to spread myself so thin that I become ineffective at everything. I have found the strength to not.
So the A and E of KALE visited me yesterday :) YAY! I love visitors!! We didn’t do very much, because I’m not particularly interesting. XD We tried to go to this one celebration for Chinese New Year, but I was uninformed that it was all in Mandarin. I don’t know Mandarin. I wish though, that’d be amazing. Think about it, if you speak English, French, Spanish, and Mandarin, that covers a pretty good amount of the world. And I’ve got English and almost French down, and a small amount of Spanish, so Mandarin’s really the last one on the list!
Anyway, we left early because lack of communication/understanding doesn’t make for a good event when you have visitors who have the same lack of communication/understanding of the language. However, I’m glad that we went, because I bet it would have been really great had the whole language barrier thing not been there!
Then we went back to McCoy and hung out, played on this one app that has been circulating around my floor as an oddly addicting activity, and the like. (Tinder, if anyone’s curious). Then stayed up way too late after Emily and Aldo left because I was watching Charlie’s Angels movies/sort-of-not-really-doing-work. Woot!!
Did more work today, wrote a story for class that I actually like… like whattt?!
So yay! Anyway, I don’t have anymore work due tomorrow, so I decided to blog this. Oh, and AND, AND, AND!!! I’m on the Dance Marathon Morale Leader team thing now and I’m super excited about that, so you guys should donate! It’s a really really good cause, anything helps, and you’ll help us reach our goal!
This sums up the week pretty well.
(You can see our creeper of a team leader reflected in the window.)