Connor Hammerle ’15 – Monday was the first day we student-taught at our host schools in Chicago. The school that I will be teaching at this week is Collins Academy which is a turn-around school for high school students. For today’s lesson, my sophomore class began working on their final immigration project for the semester. The last few weeks the students have been learning about the process many immigrants go through to become citizens in the US and their project places them in the position of a person who wants to come to the US and must to decide if they will come legally or illegally.
I personally spent the day working with the students individually and helping them brainstorm different scenarios that could play out for the particular immigrant they had selected. All of the students I worked with today were engaged with me, the teacher, and the prompt they were given. It was refreshing to see students that genuinely cared about their education. One of the best interactions I was able to see between one of the teachers and a student was listening to my host teacher ask students about their weekend and then pestering them when he felt their answer wasn’t sufficient. He pushed them to actually talk to him about their weekend and I could see the appreciation in their eyes, although they tried to hide it.
Even on the first day I can see the connection between my host teacher and the class, and how important it is to the students to have someone in the school that they know is genuinely invested in their success. Working with the students in Collins has been a great experience so far and has really opened my eyes to the possibility of teaching in an intercity in the future.