My name is Mayra Alvarado and I currently serve as a corps member on the Applied Materials Team at Lee Mathson Middle School. I’m from the beautiful city of Oakland, California and graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara. I decided to serve at City Year San José/Silicon Valley because I wanted to give back to a community that’s closer to home.
I would like to invite you to what a typical day looks like serving at our middle school.
7:50AM – We circle up as a team and start our day with an energetic “readiness check”. This time is used to unite us as a team for important announcements, check our uniform, and energize ourselves and those around us for a powerful day of service!
8:1AM to 8:35AM – Our team is on all parts of campus for “Morning Greeting”. Corps Members are around different spots on campus greeting students and making them feel good about being at school on time. I usually use this time to check-in with my attendance focus list students. These are students that I closely monitor attendance for as they have shown in the past to struggle with being frequently tardy or absent.
From the first school bell (8:35am) to the last school bell (2:55pm) – Corps members are working with different students one-on-one. We have attendance focus lists and literacy focus lists. For attendance focus list students, we call whenever they are absent, tardy, or are doing really well with their attendance. My absolute favorite parts about making attendance phone calls are when I make positive attendance phone calls and when I let parents know that I’m there for them if they need my help. For our literacy focus list students, we’re each using different tutoring strategies to get our students up to level with their reading fluency and comprehension.
2:55PM to 6:00PM – This is the time when we are leading an Extended Learning Time program. This program is required for all 6th graders and is used as a time when they get extra time to work on literacy, math, and get some fun science enrichment time. We also have 1 class of a mix of 7th and 8th graders for homework help. I have three classes of sixth graders in lessons throughout the year in which they can practice skills they learn in their English courses. We have focused on topics such as social justice, college readiness, black history month, and literary devices. Although it was definitely a struggle for me at first to lead these different classes, I have learned a lot this year about behavior management, lesson planning, and collaborating with teachers.
6:10PM – Similar to our morning circle, we have our closing circle at the end of the day. We share joys, highlights, and possible pressing issues of the day.
Yes, we do a LOT as first year City Year corps members. However, my experience has been that much more worthwhile due to all the different experiences I’ve had. After my corps year, I know I’m ready to take anything that comes my way and that I’m always going to work in an environment in which I feel that I am helping my community.
-Mayra Alvarado, Corps Member, Applied Materials Team at Lee Mathson Middle School