If you look at that photo closely you will see me, of course, and one of my students names Luis. He and the rest of the 8th graders were participating in a team challenge where they had to wrap me in toilet paper and make me a mummy. The object of the game was for the students to cover me as completely as possible, we lost. BUT it was soooo funny! We, the students and I, thought it would be a great idea to stick my arms out like a real mummy so we didn't have enough toilet paper for my body and the next day my arms were sore because of it! But it brought our team together for at least a few minutes.
All of the 8th graders in our program are part of a single class called the 8th Grade Academy, for which I am the Team Leader. I have 20 students in my class and most of them have been in the program for their entire middle school career. When I found out I was going to be teaching the 8th graders I was PUMPED!!!.... until the first day I had with them. It was CRAZY! Most of them didn't want to listen, they didn't trust me, they didn't care about what we were doing and I felt like i couldn't make them. We struggled like this for an entire semester, 4 months! I would see bits and pieces of hope during Saturday field trips or activities like the one in the picture but everyday was a struggle.
It was not until our networking event, where professionals from around the community came to talk to our students, did it all come together. They blew the volunteers away with their networking skills that they had learned over the semester and some of them got offers to visit the volunteers at work. YAY!
It is now the spring semester, and I am still here, and I'm still with the 8th graders. They are now working on a Legacy Project to leave their legacy at our school, somehow. (We will find out in 1 week what it will be) I have seen a huge change in a lot of them for the better. We still have crazy days, but we deal with them together as a team! Thats what Citizen Schools is and I hope you can donate to help us out. Its worth it!!!!!!!!!!!!!