As City Year corps members and alumni know, at school we end every day with a daily debrief, ranging anywhere from “If your day was an animal, what would it be?” to “Measure your day as a thermometer”.
Recently, City Year corps members at Cesar Chavez Elementary (myself included!) were lucky enough to be able to debrief our day with a group of five students from our afterschool program. As excited as 4th and 5th graders come, they all rated their day a 5 out of 5 on our daily debrief scale – but why? Their collective enthusiasm might have been based on the fact families they learned in math that day, the chapter books they read in literacy, or the F major scale they played in band.
However, more likely, it was the free pizza we ate, the excitement of riding in one of City Year’s very own light blue mini vans with the Chavez team, the superhero-themed pictures we took outside San Jose’s HP Pavilion, the luminescent bat signal flashing inside of the Pavilion, their racing hearts while watching people on the trapeze, or seeing the dramatic backdrop of Gotham City behind the cast of Batman Live. We had the opportunity to take our students to the Batman Live show thanks to one of City Year San Jose/Silicon Valley’s generous corporate partners, the San Jose Sharks Foundation.
When working with kids 50 hours a week, it is easy to forget what they can be like outside of school. It was a refreshing and eye-opening experience for both me and for our students. They got to see a side of me other than classroom management, and I got a chance to have meaningful conversations with them. We were able to bond over sharing the experience of Batman Live. For the five Chavez students who joined me and my team that night, going downtown was a type of adventure they rarely get the chance to take part in. Going to Batman Live connected Batman, a role model and hero for many of the kids, to school and City Year. The wide smiles on their faces the next day said it all – this was an experience they will not easily forget, nor will I. Thank you again San Jose Sharks Foundation for this wonderful experience!
-Gabe Sehringer, Corps Member CYSJ