The day started off at around 9:00 for me, which was great because I really needed the sleep. After getting dressed and ready, we headed out to a cafe place called David and Dad’s right around the corner from the hostel. It was a pretty nice start to the day. Then, all of us who were going to an elementary school headed outside, where it had started raining, so we could catch the bus. I’m always really skeptical about buses because my experience is that they come late about half of the times I take them. And they’re always late when you need them to be on time, and the times when it doesn’t matter, they’re exactly on time. The ironies of life..
So, of course, the first bus we wanted to take was about 15 minutes late and originally, we had 14 minutes to catch the next transfer, so we missed the second bus and had to wait. Luckily, this bus was on time, so we made pretty good time to the elementary school. When we got there, the person at the front didn’t know we were supposed to be there and we had to explain to them that we were from Gettysburg College. The kids were still testing so we had to wait a little bit in the auditorium. It was only for a couple of minutes and then we were taken up to our contact teacher’s class. He went down to hand in the exams somewhere. While he was out, we took some time to talk to the students. I started off talking to two of the girls. I suppose all fifth grade classrooms get like this, but I realized that it got really loud real quickly because I was having a hard time hearing what the girls were saying. They were telling me about their after school activity and walked through their schedule in a day with me. They were also really excited to be going on a field trip to the science fair.
Our contact came back and had a student to take Andrea and me to the fourth grade math teacher’s class. He was really friendly and introduced himself and then introduced us to his class. There was an officer that came in that day to talk about anti-gang and anti-bullying. He told us he didn’t plan a lesson for them because they had been testing that day, but he wanted to help us. So he pulled out four of his exceptional students so we could just talk with them. We walked through their school day and asked them about the school. They all said they liked the school and especially voiced their love of math; it seemed like teacher was the type of person who was really for the students and knew how to have fun with the kids. They talked about the food they get and said how it was too greasy and they were making a proposal for a salad bar to be established, which I was really impressed with. But it seemed like we saw the exceptions. When we were finished talking to them, we walked into the hallway and witnessed a teacher yelling across the hall at a student about how they were being disrespectful. The math teacher’s class was also a bit hectic and he had to ask more than once for them to sit down. He then asked if there was anything else he could do for us and then we thanked him and left.
We got to Midtown Academy around 3:10. Today’s theme was “Where are you from?” We started off with a warm-up called ‘Wah’, which went okay, but I had wanted the kids to get more excited about it. So that was a little disappointing. The rest of the day went pretty great though. I feel like we got some really good kids and all of them are always very willing to participate. We talked about their backgrounds first like: their family, their heritage, and any traditions they might have. This transitioned into interviews where we told them they want to talk about what makes them unique. They wrote down strengths, weaknesses, activities they participate in, and their interests. Charrisha then conducted some mock interviews with them. We used this experience to talk about positives and negatives of an interview process, which Doug facilitated really well. The day wrapped up talking about their role models and what characteristics make a role model, which was pretty successful.
Then it was time for them to go home. Overall, the day started off really well, traveling was a bit of a bummer, and then the day ended well.