So, I’m halfway through this summer fellowship experience… And let me tell you, time is flying by! My host family is absolutely amazing, and I have been busy training before work and spending time at the beach with friends on the weekends.
What have I learned?
I have learned that I do not want to have kids any time soon! This might sound bad but being around twenty 2nd and 3rd graders is pretty draining. My host family has two daughters ages 8 and 6, and boy do they have energy! I love all the kids I teach and my new “sisters” but kids are a LOT of work… Seeing “kids being kids” makes me really appreciate my parents and their patience and dedication to raising my sister and me. I guess you could say I have learned a lesson in patience, because EVERYTHING takes longer with kids. Don’t get me wrong, kids do say the cutest things and are sooo funny at times. But they really are a full time job. But I also see how much their parents love them, both where I work and at home with my host family.
How have I served?
I have served the Linda Vista Community through the Academic Club. I have directly served twenty 2nd and 3rd graders, reading with them, helping them with their homework, and doing literacy activities. I have also listened to their stories, heard about and gotten to meet their families.
What impact have I made?
Last Wednesday the San Diego Unified School District Superintendent came to visit the Academic Club to see how it is run, etc. At the end, the ED of Bayside Community Center asked for funding for more Academic Clubs in other high-risk schools. The superintendent stated that she was on our side and was very impressed with the program’s success and high demand/enrollment.
Even though I have only been here a few weeks, I feel like my students are improving. One student came up today saying, “Miss Carina, by teacher wanted me to tell you that my reading level is J now!” She was reading at a H level last week, but had tested two letters higher! She was soooo excited, and it made me happy to see her excited to read.
What’s to come?
I hope to learn more about discipline and how to better handle the students. They still kind of view me as a “substitute” teacher, and so I am still adjusting to their high energy. I would also like to better get to know the new ED of Bayside, Corey, and ask him what I can do to help more at Bayside. I plan on proposing some new literacy lesson plans and activities that coincide with the new Common Core that the students will be tested on next year. I have been researching the Common Core and noticed how it focuses a lot on critical thinking and reading comprehension rather than just memorizing facts or asking opinion questions.
All in all, I am falling in love with San Diego and found myself looking at grad school programs at USD, UCSD, and SDSU… Specifically looking at Public Policy, Economic Sociology, or Law degrees. This fellowship has inspired me to become a voice of leadership for the disadvantaged, and I believe Public Policy, Law, or Sociology would allow me to become the best advocate I could be.