“I was a scientist today!”

explanation for the title: it was career day today at Midtown and the first graders had careers that they needed to present. I spoke with one student and she enthusiastically talked about how she was a scientist today.

Today was the big day — our first day in Baltimore and of the College and Career Institute! I really wasn’t sure what to expect so I approached today with an open-mind. We eventually arrived at Midtown Academy and had brief discussion with the Vice Principal about the school and had a Q & A’s session with her. The Urban Education class had a conference call with her a few weeks ago but was very short, so today we were loaded with questions.

After spending some time with Vice Principal, we spent some time in the classrooms at Midtown Academy. I was really surprised to see how engaged the students were. During a visit in the Humanities classroom, the students were sharing their main takeaways from a book they were reading for the class. The group had some thought-provoking comments and challenged each others’ opinions. In addition, I felt like the academic caliber was much higher. For example, in a Kindergarten class, they were learning addition and writing — something that I thought would be taught in first or second grade. It surprised me because I teach elementary Sunday School in Gettysburg and few of my first or second graders do not know how to read or write. I guess this shows how Midtown is really working hard to make sure the students were being challenged and receiving the best education.

Finally, we had our College and Career Institute. In my group, we have six 8th graders. Like I said earlier, I really didn’t know to expect, but after observing an 8th grade class earlier, I was able to make a better idea of what to expect. All of the students were great, and my group did an amazing job! Today we did introductions and goal collages, and it appeared that all of the students enjoyed the activities. Many of the students openly expressed how eager they are to go to college and to pursue their dream career. I’m really happy that the students feel comfortable and are having a great time. Tomorrow is my day to lead and I really hope the students find it exciting!

What to expect for Tuesday reflection: In the morning, I will be going to Carver Vocational-Technical High School, which is a typical school. This visit should provide a significant contrast to the learning environment that we’ve experienced at Midtown. Personally, since I attended a Vocational-Technical High School, I’m curious to see how it will be similar or different.

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