As each SPLATs lit up with different colors, so did the faces of our students who beamed with pride, joy, and curiosity as they began their unique SPLATs journey. SPLATs is a remarkable tool that exposed students to various STEM careers and academic pathways as they sharpened their skills in critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity. SPLATs didn’t just keep the students moving intellectually, they also were able to exercise physically. Some games focused on trivia, and others were speed-based competitions or obstacle courses. “Giraffes and Leaves” a game created by Mahdiat and Makayla allowed students to imagine they were in a safari, crawling over and around SPLATs as they ‘gathered leaves’ with their heads.
I am an educator. I am not a psychiatrist nor a trained mental health professional, but in my role as a Citizen Schools Teaching Fellow it’s my job to show students I care. The students I work with are between 13 and 15 years old. They have complex feelings and emotions and I seek to treat them as such, as opposed to “just kids” that don’t know any better. When I am supporting students in their classes, I often ask “how are you?” and mean it genuinely.
This month our employee spotlight goes to Vanessa Bishop, Regional Director of the Massachusetts region. When asked where she gets her inspiration from she had this to say, “My faith and students. When I think about both of them, they give me a purpose to keep going when things are challenging. My faith reminds me that there is a bigger purpose in everything that I do. On the same note, our students our the center of all the work and they deserve the best we can give. “
On Thursday, February 7th, AmeriCorps Teaching Fellow, Iris Restrepo and two students from East Somerville Community School got the chance to chat with Educational TV: Somerville about their experience in Citizen Schools.