Summerbridge is what??? Dynamite! Happy week 5 of the summer program! Week 5 also means that our fun times with the students will end next week. Since my last update, I have already taught 9th-grade math for four weeks. It is rewarding seeing my students improve by leaps and bounds. It is especially rewarding seeing my current students, who I have taught when they were in the 7thgrade improve. In my last report, I said that I would like to challenge myself to incorporate fun activities for the students and one of the activities I did was to have students solve the Do-Now questions on the sidewalk using sidewalk chalk instead of writing it on their paper. In addition, our classroom is in the basement of a building so taking them outside is a special treat. The students enjoyed the activity a lot and have asked for more sidewalk chalk time.
During a faculty meeting, our Dean of Faculty said that an internship is a lot about training ourselves—the focus is on us. However, the internship at Summerbridge is not just about focusing on ourselves, but on students. In fact, most of the focus is on the students. As educators, we place students at the center of everything we do. How do we modify the lesson plans to fit students’ needs? What can the students improve on? Which students should we celebration/concentrate? This internship has taught me to be selfless. From the moment I wake up every day, my heart races because I know that I only have 6 hours everyday to inspire and teach my students. With the clock ticking, these 9th graders have only one more week of their three summers at Summerbridge.
My goal for the last week of teaching is to boost my students’ confidence. My workshop students feel like they never get the material and that they are never the winners in math class. As an educator, I believe that I have the responsibility to help them fight the fear. This is the age in which most students develop fixed mindsets about STEM because the concepts get harder and when the materials get too hard, some students tend to hide. I have three girls in my class and I want to make sure that they get the message that yes, girls can excel in math too. I also hope that I can create lasting connections with the students such that they not only see me as their teacher, but as a mentor they can reach out to after they graduate. Stay tuned for more updates!