Thankful Thursday: Teachers at Mildred Goss Elementary

Each week, City Year San Jose/Silicon Valley will thank a person or organization for inspiring us in our service. This week, corps member Katherine Grundt thanks the teachers at her service site for their inspiring work at Mildred Goss Elementary School.

Katherine posing with some of the panel murals that students created on a Starfish Corps service day.

This year I have had the pleasure of serving my first year as a City Year San Jose/ Silicon Valley corps member on the San Francisco 49ers Team at Mildred Goss Elementary School. What drew me to Goss six months ago was the energy of the teachers and principal. Since starting my service here, one thing is for certain: these groups of teachers are some of the most passionate individuals I have ever gotten the pleasure of meeting.

Everyday the teachers go above and beyond figuring out new and interactive ways to energize their students. From first grade all the way through fifth grade, these teachers’ passion and drive to never give up on their students is both heartwarming and inspirational.

Working in a high-risk neighborhood, the staff at Goss does the best they can with the limited amount of resources they are given. This however does not stop them from doing everything in their power to inspire their students.

Having teachers like these during elementary school will drive and motivate these students to want to succeed and create a life for themselves.

These are teachers that the students will never forget from: Ms. Barkley who with her kindness teaches her first graders how to use their words to work out their problems. Ms. Neff in the second grade whose energy and praise keeps her students motivated to do their best. Ms. Shawghnassy, who has taught her third grade class that they can all be rock star scholars. Ms. Harral, who always maintains a calm attitude and positive outlook even with her rambunctious fourth grade class. Ms. Wyatt, who empowers her class of 33 fifth graders by creating a fun and open learning environment.

What all of these powerful teachers have in common is their shared goal to see their students succeed. The entire staff has the willingness to collaborate together as a whole for the common good of the school. The community welcomed City Year back for a second year with open arms and high hopes for the upcoming year. I have never seen such a supportive staff in my 16 years of schooling. The experience at Goss will truly live on throughout these students’ lives.

Everyday they are making an extraordinary impact, and although some days may seem difficult, if you look into the eyes of these students you see the difference that is being made. These teachers care, they will never give up hope and that is what makes a strong community that is what makes a strong teacher.

Katherine Grundt, Corps Member CYSJ


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