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Sarah T. Reed Elementary School Team Highlights

September 20, 2011

Corps members Briana and Audrey with Ms. Wright, City Year Seattle Alum and 6th Grade English Teacher at Reed Elementary

By Audrey Davidson, Corps Member Proudly Serving at Sarah T. Reed Elementary School  

We have been in our classrooms a little under a month and the Reed Elementary School Team has already seen the positive impact we can have on our students.

During our first week, Anna Kann laboriously worked with a student on his math problems for an entire period and as she was leaving, another student—notorious for his disruptions—asked if she would help him after school. They worked on his homework together until the buses came.

On one of her more hectic days, Kaitlin Tyrrill suggested to her teacher that a change of seating may be the answer to the class’s behavioral issues. They collaborated on a new seating arrangement, where the trouble-makers sat in the front of the class. One of the students refused to move. Kaitlin took him out in the hallway to talk about his behavioral issues in more depth and she suggested he try out the new system.  After rejoining the class he stubbornly returned to his spot in the back of the room.  Over the course of the class, he moved to the seat they suggested. After a disagreement with another student, he sulked back to his original seat but, the fact that he moved at all demonstrates that Katilin’s individualized attention made him reflect on his actions. 

I am a corps member working with fifth graders.  One of my proudest moments occurred when I was able to persuade one of my most hyperactive students to not only sit down quietly and stay on task, but for the first time he demonstrated his understanding of the material instead of giving up and just filling out the bubbles randomly as he usually did. By getting to know him first as an individual and patiently walking him through each question step-by-step, I was able to reach him in a way that the teachers simply didn’t have time for. 

These may seem like small gains, but they illustrate how our presence has already made a difference in the lives of the students we serve. Although we may not see any immediate results, every little thing we do has the potential to positively impact the way our students perceive themselves and their place in the world.

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