Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Summer Bridge

Summer Bridge is kind of like an orientation for 7,8, and 9th grade students. 7th and 8th grades are included because they are new additions to the school. Makes sense because the school is huge! My mentor teacher and I were scheduled to work it this morning at 8:30. I thought it would be worse waking up at 7, but it wasn't!

Anyway the whole thing was a cluster because no one really knew what they were supposed to be doing. My mentor teacher was taking the place of another teacher today who pretty much told him good luck. It kind of ticked my mentor teacher off because there was no organization. I just laughed. Anyway we had 9th graders and they were split into groups and we all walked over to U of Cincinnati's campus (my school!). My mentor teacher had me lead our group around because I know the campus since it'll be my 5th year.

When we got there we played an ice breaker name where one person would say their name and something they liked that started with that letter and so one. So, like this, "My name is Mr. Duthie and I like doughnuts." (Remember name has been changed!). Then I would say, "He's Mr. Duthie and he likes doughnuts. I'm Miss Albert and I like avacados." The game would continue all around with each person adding their name to the growing list. Some of the kids got really annoying because they didn't even try to remember the names, but I guess that's what you get with kids. It made me realize how awful I am at names! Which is great because there were only 20 kids and on Tuesday I'll have to learn 160 names!

Then, my mentor teacher talked to them about time management and GPA. It's sad because in our education classes we are told that we should not have students focus on grades, but the reality of life is that that one GPA has a lot of power in determining their future because colleges and jobs don't care about effort, etc. They just want to know your GPA. After that we all walked to one of the lecture rooms on campus where they played an ice breaker and watched part of a clip called 2 Million Minutes (which is the number of minutes a student spends in high school if you were wondering).

After that was lunch. The Bearcat (UCs mascot) was out handing kids t-shirts. I got one. One of the perks of being a teacher! After lunch we returned to the room and discussed GPAs a little more then it was the library tours. The students went to two libraries on Cincinnati's campus. It's cool because UC is giving these high school students library cards! They get so many amazing opportunities. In between tours my mentor teacher wanted me to take them on the scenic route so of course I took them to UCs football and soccer field. If you've never been to the University of Cincinnati you should go. It's a beautiful campus and it's cool because our football stadium is right smack dab in the middle. But I'm not really a football fan (unless it's the Browns). I've only been to 1 UC game my whole time in college.

After the tours we wrapped up and walked back to the high school. Then my mentor teacher and I headed to one of the restaurants near campus for a social studies department meeting. One of the teachers is from Akron so we were talking about how people freak out in Cincinnati for just a little bit of snow. Think I'm exaggerating? Come visit in January and you'll see I'm not!

It was a cool opportunity to work Summer Bridge. I got to experience what it would be like to have to chaperon a field trip. Not fun. Then my mentor teacher came over to me during our time in the auditorium and told me it was a "Teaching Moment." What he wanted me to see was what NOT to do. If you tell students to do something you need to be on top of them like a hawk, which most of the teachers were not doing. They were just standing around talking. This meant that students weren't finding their pairs for the ice breaker. They were just getting with friends and pretending it was their partner. I also learned the importance of organization.

It was such a long day. I don't know how my mentor teacher does it. He's so involved in the school, is going to teach a class at UC, AND has a wife and 3 small daughters. I'm wiped out and I'm not even doing anything! We have a good relationship so far which I appreciate and am blessed to have. There are so many mentor teachers who just give all their work to their interns and leave the interns to learn nothing. The other day my mentor teacher had sent me a text message telling me the plan for the next day. I sent him a text back with "Okay." The next day when we were going over the syllabus he told me that I am the only person who he has even known to spell out OK and end it with a period. I don't mind though. Writing is my thing (all though I'm horrible at it and can never catch my own typos and stuff, I think it's important). Basically, he appointed me proofreader of everything! Haha.

Oh, by the way, one of the students asked me today if I was going into 9th grade too. Awesome! I'm looking forward to hearing that A LOT...

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