University of Phellix

Day 4: Completed. Another long but productive day for our urban education course. We woke up this morning and headed to a public boarding school, it was rather interesting. It felt like I was on a college campus. The kids come from all over Maryland and stay the whole week at their school. Out of all the schools we have visited, this school seems like they got everything together. The kid that I spoke to was well spoken and driven. I was very inspired and impress. However, it is unfortunate that there are still many other kids who cannot have the some opportunity that these students have.

            Andrea was the group leader today. I think she taught the kids valuable lessons on interviewing, marketing yourself, and the process of applying to colleges. She did a good job relating and comparing both processes. She then had the students create a résumé. After all that was done she made go through a mock interview with me. This was fun. I was kind of hard on the kids, but I had to be. I see so much potential in them but they don’t have the confidence. After each interview I assured each person that they were great, and their only job is to make me believe them. This is why I want to get into teaching, so I can assure each student that can be as great as they want to be. 

Day three in B-Town

Half way there! Today we got to wake up a little later than usual, which was awesome. A representative from a well-known charter school came to the hostel and spoke to us. She mainly spoke about how the school came to be and their methods of teachings. Although many kids thought that the school’s style was too harsh and robotic, I believe it was amazing. Its not perfect, but they get results. They are affecting families. They are teaching kids values and how to behave. Some of these kids are not learning how to behave civilized in their homes, and that is the reason why they are not succeeding. This school goes beyond the call of duty and teaches them academics and how to behave. I like what the school stands for, and I am a supporter.

Day three for our afterschool program was solid. We had a new kid and she integrated just fine with us. However one student was having a hard day and we had trouble getting her to participate. Maddie had some great lessons planned, but unfortunately the computers’ wifi was not on our side. So we had to think on our feet and use the one computer that was working and put in on the projector and find alternatives way to get our message across. Today we also had to put our foot down because we felt the kids were getting to comfortable and a little too chatty. They did take it well and the rest of the day went smoother. I think it is difficult to get kids as engage as we want them to since they already have been drained from the regular school day. That’s how the third day went. Oh, yeah, I also had some awesome pitt-beef.

Doing more in B’more

Day Numero Dos!

What a long day! But a lot was accomplished. Today I was in the lucky group who got to have more sleep because we were visiting the elementary school. We were out the door by 10:30am and headed to the bus stop. Things I learned today, Baltimore transit system is not very sufficient. After waiting at the bus stop for 15 minutes in the rain we finally got on the bus and were on our way to an elementary school. The elementary school had testing all morning so the rest of the afternoon was free time. I shadowed a 5th grader and he showed me around. I ate with his friends and watch as they played. While they were playing I spent 30 minutes talking to a six-grade teacher. I asked for some teaching advice and opinions on the education system and his school.  He gave me honest answers and insightful responses. It was unfortunate that I couldn’t see the day to day school day.

After we left that elementary school we headed back to Midtown Academy. Again, the busses took forever and we almost arrived late. Today Mike facilitated the group and he did a fantastic job. We started off the day with one of our students rapping and the other two dancing. After we played a game of charades and the students found it very entertaining. Next we were supposed to have them take an online career test but the laptop wifi was not working. So Mike had them do a role playing game while I tried to get the computers running. We managed to get both done and the students were able to do both activities. Finally the kids started working on their life map. They seemed really into making those. Tomorrow they will continue to work on their life maps and start learning about different types of colleges. 

More Baltimore DAY ONE!

Day 1: Completed! Today, I woke up early in the morning packed my things last minute and met up with the class. Got on the bus, and just like that, I was in Baltimore. We got set up at the Hostel where we were staying at and grabbed a quick lunch. After that we immediately took off to Midtown Academy Charter School. Assistant Principal Penny greeted us. She gave us a warm introduction and answered some questions. We then observed a few classrooms. Midtown Academy is a small school, number-wise and space-wise. However, you can sense that it is a close community. After out observation my group and I went to the Math room and prepared for our first class.

I was leading this day. The objective of the day was to get to know each other, set the tone for the week, and get a sense of their general knowledge regarding Colleges and applying for them. We started off with introductions, as we went around I noticed we only had four students, which means one was absent. I also sense that they seemed drained from going through a whole school day. After introductions we did an ice breaker call “Never have I ever”. They seemed to enjoy the questions that they were asked. After we loosened up we played College Jeopardy. I spilt the class into two teams and we played jeopardy. Team “_HotStreak” beat team “#TeamAwesome”, however it was a close one. After jeopardy I realized that I was moving faster than the planned schedule. So we took a snack break and talked about our interests, mostly music. After that break it seemed that the students became more comfortable with us and they started to become more active. Next, we each wrote a poem about our dreams. I was happy to see that everyone participated. After all poems were read we had an open discussion on what they want to learn. Today was a successful day, although we did a lot of things on the spot, it all came together. I am ready to go back at it tomorrow.

Baltimore Baltimore Baltimore

Hello world, this is Mr. Rodriguez and I will be blogging about my Spring Break experience. I am currently enrolled in an Urban Education course is Gettysburg College. Throughout the semester we have been investigating the education system in urban areas. This Spring Break we will be having a more hands on experience and actually visit schools in Baltimore and run a College-Prep after school program in Midtown Academy Charter School. The purpose of this blog is to keep you guys updated on this rewarding journey that I am going to experience. I was informed that me and three other classmates will be leading a group of 5 kids in a after school program. The group decided to spilt the work evenly and I was selected to do the first day. My job is to make everyone comfortable and set the tone for the rest of the week. I am excited and ready to embark in this adventure.

I honestly don’t know what to expect, so I plan on going to Baltimore and roll with the punches. I have three other great classmates with me and we are leading five students so I am sure each kid is going to get enough attention. Being that I am doing Teach for America next year I will most definitely be using this time as practice. This is all for Blog 1. Byeeeeeeeeeee.

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