Last week marked the end of summer school at Cristo Rey, and I was a little sad walking into the school this morning and not seeing students sitting outside the doors in their uniforms. I didn’t realize how much I would come to enjoy assisting with summer school and interacting with students on a daily basis. When I would talk to other staff members my first week and tell them one of my duties as a Summer Fellow is to provide summer school classroom assistance, they usually would give me a look of pity and wish me good luck. From their looks of concern, I was expecting a few hours of chaos each day. Instead, I found the absolute opposite in my 4 weeks as “Ms. Webb”.
Throughout those 4 weeks in the classroom I would sit in the school’s computer lab to help answer individual questions on course recovery assignments as well as monitor school lunch. This provided for some interaction with students–especially the two students who would often ask me for help with their algebra–but I figured most of the students didn’t pay much attention to me. I was a new face in the classroom and I look pretty young, so I internally thought, “Why would these young people view me as their teacher?”
On the last day of classes I was proven entirely wrong when talking with a group of students and fellow teachers at lunch. The students started asking me if I was a new Cristo Rey teacher they would have next year. I explained to them I’m a college intern and only here for the summer, and I’m not even studying education at OSU. My comment was met with one student telling me, “Well you should come back and help anyways! You were a really good teacher.”
Hearing these students affirm my work in the classroom completely surprised me, and it made the end of summer school even more bittersweet. I am so proud that the students completed their course recovery and can enjoy their summer, but I will truly miss all of the time working one-on-one with students in the classroom. Hopefully I will return as a volunteer this fall at Cristo Rey to continue watching our students shine in the classroom!