I have spent the past three weeks teaching and getting to know the Breakthrough students, and have enjoyed every second of it. There have been obstacles and challenges along the way, but from day one, I saw enormous potential, talent, and motivation in my 9th grade geometry class. After meeting the students, I was so relieved to find how respectful, enthusiastic, and caring they were. Although I have only known them for a short time, I feel as though I have already made such strong and meaningful connections.
During my first week as a co-teacher, I discovered the varying abilities and learning styles of my students through their classroom participation and homework grades. Ella and I soon realized that our curriculum needed modification, as the ninth graders had prior knowledge of geometry and were familiar with the material we were teaching them. We decided to combine the first few lessons and teach them at a faster pace so that we would have more time to introduce the new and challenging topic of geometric proofs. I have learned that teaching is a never-ending process of creating curricular materials, grading students’ work, and writing and revising lesson plans to meet the needs of all learners.
As the weeks flew by, I became accustomed to my daily routine at BTNY, and even looked forward to going to work each morning. I start each day off by printing and copying lesson materials, meeting with all Manhattan Teaching Fellows, and chatting with the students at breakfast. I spend the rest of the morning teaching two geometry classes and working with Ella on grading and lesson planning. Lunch time is one of my favorite parts of the day because the students enthusiastically sing cheers at the top of their lungs, making everyone in the program feel included in a community. In the afternoons, I teach my elective course (digital music production), supervise Family Time, lead an advisory session, and attend All School Meeting, which is when Chilee makes announcements and students participate in fun challenges, like the cup stacking challenge. Each day, I leave BTNY with a smile on my face and I feel grateful that I get to be a part of this wonderful organization.