This fall has been one of the most exciting for me. I enjoyed my summer as Education Pioneers Fellow writing Apprenticeship Curriculum so much and was fortunate to join the National Program department in full time in September. I am thankful to be part of a team working nationally to provide academic support to students, closing the opportunity gap for our students and impacting education reform.
I’ll have my first opportunity to teach a 10 week Apprenticeship this Spring as a Citizen Teacher. My co-teacher Brian and I, along with a Citizen Schools team leader, will help a group of middle school students at the Dever/McCormack School in Dorchester discover Environmental Radio. In a few short weeks our students will collaborate to produce a podcast series about a topic I am passionate about and hope they will be too. Imagining and planning for the WOW! moment, when our apprentices show their school and community the skills they have gained and the professional product they have created is thrilling. We’ll help them feel the sense of pride that comes from making something powerful, and sharing it to benefit their community- an enthusiastic audience. I am so inspired by moments of learning by doing and project that feel real to students-- that is why I am so moved by the opportunities that Citizen Schools Apprenticeships provide for students.
During the apprenticeship I will become part of a group of adults at Citizen Schools who know these students well- personally, academically. Along the way, we will connect with each student and help them commit to getting good grades, setting ambitious goals for high school, planning the steps they’ll take to get to college, and dream about their future careers in science or whatever they aspire to.
I am writing mostly to share my excitement for this new adventure, to explain what I do every day at Citizen Schools, but also to ask for your support for Citizen Schools – in words or dollars. Telling your colleagues about Apprenticeships could help us bring more professionals into our classrooms and student’s lives across the country. Even a few dollars will help purchase supplies for the Apprenticeships and WOW! Celebrations in which students share their amazing work and even the adults who see them every day feel impressed by their efforts take a moment to say, simply, “WOW.”