A day in the life part 2

19 Mar

A continuation of my previous post, ” A Day in the Life Part 1″ 

Wednesday 

Wednesday Gathering at Eagle Rock School

Wednesday is intramural day at Eagle Rock School. Wednesday gathering lasts an hour, longer than the normal gathering on days when students have classes. Robert Burkhardt, the Head of School, always runs Wednesday gathering. Regular items on the agenda include:

  • 30 seconds of silence
  • Saying good morning in more than 30 languages
  • A reading of letters that anyone has written to Eagle Rock, including former students, parents, and visitors
  • Important announcements: Recently at a Wednesday gathering it was announced that Holly, the current Public Allies Teaching fellow in English and Literature, got hired the be the new, full-time English teacher at the end of her Public Allies service year. Woohoo Holly!

Public Allies Fellow Holly, in black, when it was announced to the community she would be the next English teacher

  • Golden Spirit awards: Gold painted dinosaur/animal figures given to staff and students  those who exhibited the best team spirit in the previous week of games.
  • Props: students write anonymous notes of gratitude to the community that are read from the prop box.
  • Robert hands out books for students to read. At the end of this part we always say: “Those who do not read are no better off than those who can’t”
  • Music gathering

After gathering, it’s game time! We all come to gathering wearing our intramural clothes. Each house sports a different color. Students at Eagle Rock are split into six houses: Ponderosa, Pinon (black), Aspen (white), Spruce (Green), Lodgepole (Red), and Juniper (Yellow). Every Wednesday the houses compete against each other in a variety of sports. Last trimester it was ultimate  frisbee and basketball. This trimester we had five weeks of water polo/floor hockey, and recently moved on to volleyball. The Public Allies fellows are also paired up by house, and I represent Aspen. I’m just gonna throw it out there that Aspen house went undefeated in floor hockey and water polo. Boo-yah.

Students, Valentina, Darnell, and Jonathon, representing their houses on intramural day

Wednesday afternoon consist of either a staff meeting or an instructional meeting. Personally, instructional meetings are my favorite. This is a time when all the teachers get together for internal professional development. We go over strategies on how to become more effective teachers. This year the teaching focus is how to incorporate HOTS (higher order thinking skills) into all of our classes to help students become critical thinkers.

The last part of the fellow day is advisories. To ensure that all students are on academic track, we have two staff members that oversee about 3-4 students, and we dedicate an hour every week to checking in with these students and supporting them academically and emotionally.

Thursday and Friday

Thursdays look very similar to Mondays and Tuesdays. More teaching, hanging out with students, and planning for classes. One class I am co-teaching is “Connections in Wood.” This is a service-learning course where students get to build projects, such as bookshelves for classrooms and a door for the Stanley Hotel (the inspiration for The Shining), and reflect on how they are able to apply their new WoodShop skills to improving their community.

The Weekend

We have an unconventional schedule here at Eagle Rock. Fellows either work Tuesday-Saturday, or Sunday- Thursday. This is because we have duty, which means monitoring students outside of class time. We do rounds around campus, and open up different buildings, such as the art room and the library, for student use. On Saturdays, fellows run current events, and an hour and a half long Saturday seminar. I’m on Saturday duty this trimester and run a seminar where students and I watch anime.

Human Performance Fellow Grace on Sunday morning duty in the library, looking official with her walkie-talkie.

~*~*~*

I hope you now have a sense of what it is like to be a fellow at Eagle Rock School. Service is our life 24/7. However, service doesn’t have to be your day job for it still to play a big role in your life. So I would like to leave you with a question: How can you incorporate service into your daily life?

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