6:00a.m – 6:35a.m.
By 6am I am fresh and out of the shower listening to music in order to get me amped and pumped for the long day ahead! As the music is swaying my morning routine I am getting myself ready: brushing my slacks with my lint brush, adjusting my tie, and assuring I have all of my material for the day ahead!
I have just enough time for a small bowl of cereal; breakfast is the most essential part of my morning. Breakfast is over and it’s time to head out the door. I try to leave my apartment every morning by 6:30, 6:39 the latest. Just before I leave my apartment, I stand and stare out the window and I allow the city of Newark to take me on an adventure!
6:35a.m. – 6:45a.m.
As I head out the door I double check to make sure the door is closed shut and locked. I head to the elevator and as quick as I got on is as quick as I get off of the elevator. I make my journey down Halsey St. and like every morning I tell the security guards “good morning” and share a quick joke or two with them. As I make my way down Halsey, I like to look at the sky and the calm sunrise steadily approaching. Everything just seems so calm and serene in the morning.
I reach my destination (Great Oaks Charter High School) and it’s almost time for the daily “morning meeting.”
6:50a.m. – 7:30a.m.
At 6:50 every staff member is down in the lobby for our morning meeting. At the morning meeting announcements for the day and week are shared, anything we should be on the lookout for during the day such as uniform violations from specific students (some students have trouble keeping their shirt tucked in), and it is a time that we can shine on co-workers who went above and beyond the previous day. The morning meeting is where it all happens just before the academic day begins! As we close out the morning meeting Ms. Harrell says “We are the high school and what do we do” and we all respond “RISE UP!!!!!!!!”
After the morning meeting we head up the elevator to the 7th floor. I head to the staff room and set my area of work up and I hang up my jacket and book bag. I have 9th grade homework collection duty on the 8th floor so I don’t have much down time. Ms. O’Neil kindly hands me my HW data sheet and I’m on my way to the 8th floor.
Students are slowly making their way into their homeroom, but before they reach homeroom they must first hand in their HW to me. You get the chance to learn a lot of your students on a different level when it comes to HW collection. 7:30 hits, the bell rings, HR doors close, and HW collection is officially over for students on time.
7:30a.m. – 7:42a.m.
I make my way back to the staff room and carefully but hurriedly place the HW in their respectful organizers for TA’s to check. After I do this I gather all of my materials for my back to back morning ELA tutorials.
7:45a.m. – 9:42a.m.
Within this time frame I have two 9th grade tutorials back to back. Those two tutorials are 9C & 9E. The first tutorial of the day has commenced! One of my favorite scenic tutorials because the sun meets the horizon in such a vibrant way and the reflection it provides within the classroom is heartwarming. After the Silent Do Now, we engage in our academic content for tutorial and each minute is sacred ensuring that, I, as a tutor, will bridge the academic gap! 9E! My second 9th grade tutorial of the day has begun. The lighting in this room isn’t as good as 9C but it gets the job done! After I adjust the tables for tutorial, we are ready to begin the Silent the DN! And again keeping tutorial sacred as we bridge the academic gap! Best part of tutorial is keeping your students invested within the material and having it connect to their personal lives!
9:45a.m. – 10:42a.m.
During this time you can say the ELA tutors are on “break.” I head to the staff room and prepare my material for my last 9th grade tutorial, which is 9A which begins at 10:45a.m. I place my 1st two tutor materials into my bin and begin on any secondary assignments I may have within this hour. Depending what day it is we have TTC for 9th grade ELA. TTC is where teachers and tutors meet together and go over targeted materials for the week approaching and we discuss what is working and what isn’t working within this week’s material lesson content. Being solution oriented comes in handy within these meetings because they reflect our passion to deliver the content to the students.
10:45a.m. – 11:42a.m.
My third and final 9th grade tutorial, 9A! The students within this tutorial have captured my heart through their relentless effort and poise to become great scholars. Through discussions, vocabulary building, and writing these student scholars have enhanced their confidence and perspective upon themselves! Tutorial is truly the time and place to bring the greatness out of your students.
11:45a.m. – 12:12p.m.
I am now heading to the “Lunch 4 Leaders.” Mr. Bevans’ and I spearhead this small club during lunch. We have 4 male students in which we are fundamentally building the skills of leadership within them. These particular students have the potential to be leaders they just need some brushing up along the edges before they take upon that role.
12:15p.m. – 12:42p.m.
L U N C H T I M E! Sometimes because things are moving so fast, you forget to have lunch. It is important to remember that everyday will not be the same in Great Oaks Charter High School. After I have escaped for lunch, I grab my materials for the 10th grade tutorial sessions and I’m on my way out of the staff room , heading downstairs to pick up my 10th graders from lunch and into tutorial.
12:45p.m. – 1:42p.m.
My first 10th grade tutorial is underway and the key goal is to be effective while I am bridging the academic gap. My 10th graders are more mature than the 9th graders which is a good change of pace because discussions are more intellectual, meaningful, and purposeful! They are truly young adults gaining the knowledge they need to prepare them for college! They usually come into tutorial knowing what is expected of them and they do their best to meet and exceed those expectations on a daily basis.
1:45a.m. – 2:42p.m.
My second 10th grade tutorial has begun and it’s nothing but smiles between the students and I. We give our ritual handshake to one another and tutorial is underway. And again, they come to tutorial ready to learn and work which makes working with them a breeze and a great start to my day of tutoring.
2:45p.m. – 4:12p.m.
During this allotted time frame I quickly head back to the staff room and Ms. Hercules and I begin the preparations for 10th Period and PIT forms. 10th Period and PIT form documents need to be printed, distributed accordingly, and the correct HW assignments attached to each document for each individual student that earned 10th Period or PIT for that given day. After this is complete I engage in other secondary duties that I may need to complete before the end of day. Just before the last period of the day is over, I need to transport the 10th Period and PIT form documents to their appropriate location in order to assure that things are kept to schedule and teachers are transitioned into 10th Period effectively.
4: 15p.m. – 4:30p.m.
During this time frame I make my rounds into each house (homeroom) and I talk to each student making sure that they have their HW for tonight, asking them how their day went, I do my various handshakes with each individual student, and I encourage them to get home safely and swiftly. I head to my House (Indira Gandhi) and I complete my HW check with a few students and then I help transition students to the lobby where they will be dismissed from another great academic day at Great Oaks.
4:30p.m. – 5:30p.m.
The bell rings to signal the end of a regular school day at Great Oaks Charter High School and some students are dismissed on time. However, the other students might find themselves in afterschool 10th period due to a variety of reasons on Monday, Tuesdays or Thursday. 10th period is not a negative punishment but a time for students to complete missing work or homework they might have due the next day. Then, around 5:15pm 10th period ends and some students will get to go home and others might find themselves in PIT. PIT is a time for students cannot do their homework but can reflect on their actions that got them in PIT in order to avoid being caught in PIT in the future.
On Wednesday, no teacher, tutor or student stays late due to Wellness Wednesday. Wellness Wednesday gives everyone a day in the middle of the week to recharge so they can finish the week strong.
On Thursday after school runs a tad bit differently for me. On Thursday’s afterschool students have the opportunity to participate in an enrichment class. The enrichment classes are created by the interest of the tutors at the High School and run by the tutors as well. An enrichment that I spearheaded was chess and now I have the pleasure in assisting the step enrichment!
5:30p.m – 6:00p.m.
I use this time to organize my work area for the next day ahead and I organize my material for both 9th and 10th grade tutorials. I also use this time to make a list of things for me to accomplish when I get to my apartment. The list may include: calling parents, logging points, checking my students’ points for the day, and the daily tutor survey. After all is complete I am ready to take my work home and get a head start for tomorrow’s adventure at Great Oaks Charter High School.
Nanley Losier is a 2014-2015 tutor corp member at Great Oaks Charter High School in Newark, NJ. He is a graduate of Benedict College in Columbia, SC with a degree in English. After his one year of service at Great Oaks, Mr. Losier hopes to further his education career within Urban Education to his highest regard to improve quality of education for all students no matter their circumstance. Plans to receive his Masters in Secondary Education and Urban Education Policy.