A Day in the Life: City Year

By Katie Doyle — As a Corps Member, I always feel really busy, and people back home are always asking me what I do all day.  I guess most people are wondering why I have little time in my life for non-City Year things.  Without having everyone here with me to experience my daily routine, I thought I’d share a day in the life of a City Year Corps Member (or, in this case, just Ms. Doyle).

7:45 AM – Opening Circle.  My whole team gets together every morning to make sure we are ready for the day, go over any events, make announcements, and get pumped about the day.

8:10 AM – Morning Greeting.  My team goes out to the front of the school and the quad to greet students as they arrive at school.  We try to get them excited about school and show that we are there for them everyday.  Twice a week, we do Power Greeting where we cheer, sing, and dance as students arrive at school.

8:30 AM – Prep Time.  This is time that I have to write lesson plans for ELT, meet with teachers, check in with my team members, prepare for my tutoring sessions, and make sure everyone has the materials they need.

11:00 – Tutoring Sessions.  I work with students one-on-one during 15 minute tutoring sessions to provide literacy interventions to off-track students.

12:30 – Lunch Support.  I supervise students during lunch time in the cafeteria and out on the black top.  I remind them not to use inappropriate language, throw food, or push each other.  This is also a great time to build relationships with students. I get to have conversations with students outside of a classroom, and sometimes we even play a ltitle basketball.

1:15 – Tutoring Sessions.  I provide on-on-one interventions to the remaining students on my focus list.

2:40 – I hustle back to the City Year room at the school to quickly grab my materials for ELT.

2:45 – ELT Begins!  BRIDGE is the first block.  During BRIDGE, my class and I discuss teamwork, respect, community, and other topics.  This is a time for us to build camaraderie as a class and provide some social support.

3:05 – First Block.  I lead a Literacy block by myself in a classroom with students.  We support the curriculum being taught in Language Arts and Reading during the school day with reading, grammar practice, writing, and projects.

3:40 – Snack.  I take my students to the cafeteria for a small snack.  I supervise them in the cafeteria and remind them that they don’t need to shout to be heard by the person next to them.

4:00 – Structured Games.  All of the Corps Members take their classes outside to the black top, and we play a round-robin tournament of structured games.  At the end of the week, the points are averaged out for each class and the top classes play in a final championship! Not to brag or anything, but my class won the last championship. J

4:30 – Second Block.  I take a new group of students to my classroom for Literacy.

5:05 – Third Block.  Another group of students comes to my class for Literacy.

5:50 – My BRIDGE students return to my classroom to debrief the day and be signed out to go home.

6:15 – Closing Circle.  My team meets at the end of the day to turn in our attendance, debrief our day, and get out announcements.  There are usually still some students who have not been picked up at this point, so they join our closing circle until someone comes to pick them up.

6:30 (or later) – Head home!  Some days there are a lot of announcements, or our debrief takes a while, or there are other issues that cause our closing circle to start late or take a long time, so we are not always out by 6:30, but it is a goal we aim for most days.

City Year is busy, challenging, frustrating, and exhausting, but the relationships I’m building with students make the lack of sleep and free time worth it.  This schedule makes me a little crazy sometimes, but I always try to remember that this year is all about the small victories and getting my students excited about learning.

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