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Joys and Ripples: A Success Story

September 15, 2011

By Jo Reddick, Corps Member Proudly Serving at Broadmoor Middle School

One big part of City Year culture is “joys and ripples.”  Our days begin and end with strong circles where we share our joys, or good things that happened or will happen; and ripples, good things that affect the group.  Here is one of my joys from this week, so far…

Monday, at Broadmoor Middle School, all of the ELA [English Language Arts] teachers had to attend an onsite workshop; there were 12 substitute teachers filling in for their classes.  After hearing this on the morning announcements, my whole team knew we were in for a tough day.

Hi, I’m Jo, a City Year corps member proudly serving at Broadmoor Middle school.  I serve in two sixth grade math classes, and one sixth grade ELA class.  This Monday, after having a great 1st hour Math class, a useful planning period, and a refreshing lunch, it was time for me to tackle my sixth grade ELA class, without the regular teacher. As expected, without their regular teacher, the class was a mess.  It was frustrating, because even though I am in the class everyday, the main disciplinarian was missing, and I had no idea how to control the class; the substitute was even more clueless.  Most of the class never settled down, and many of the students didn’t get any work done.

So, why is this a joy?  And where is the success in my story? Well, the students had been asked to write an essay about someone they thought was successful, and explain why.  Luckily, we had a good six or seven [out of about thirty] students who behaved and tried to do their assigned writing topic.  One of the students even decided to write about me!  Despite my frustration with the classes behavior, this one student really saved my day, and brought me all the joy I needed.


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